Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time Flies to Christmas

Wow - where did this year go? It seems like we just got back from Europe yesterday and here it is December & almost Christmas. This is the part of the year that time seems to hit hyperspeed & there are just not enough hours in the day for everything!

Last Saturday was my painting chapter Christmas party which turned out to be one of the best we have ever had in my opinion. Our theme this year was Angels and there were lots of "angels" in attendance. Even with a half hour delay in set-up, we were done in record time & even had time for a group photo before opening the doors. The Christmas Committee provided the angel table decorations (some of us did multiple angels even) and it was a lovely presentation. Here are a few of them.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Traveling the World

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth - it only felt that way! We have been traveling and the photo might give a hint of where we went. (hint... lots of wine involved!)

Yes! We went to ITALY and parts nearby. Spent nearly two weeks on a cruise ship starting in Rome, then on to Naples (& Sorrento, Positano & Pompeii), around the boot to Dubrovnik (Croatia), over to Venice!!!, down to Sicily, back up to Barcelona, then to Monaco, Livorno (Florence), and back to Rome. Yikes! We are tired!!! And it was all amazing.
I have lots of photos to share & stories to tell... more to come!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Artists Opening Reception

Last night was the Artists Opening at the Daily Grind in Apopka for Margot & SJ. There were LOTS of people there to view the art & shop! The art pieces look like there were almost made especially for this particular show, but I know for sure that Margot & SJ both used pieces from their personal stashes. It was a wonderful evening!! Congrats Margot & SJ!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Open House in Orlando

If you are in the Orlando area, check out the art opening at the Daily Grind in Apopka on July 31st. Margot & SJ are the "artists in residence" and will be having their grand opening reception!! There is artwork ranging from paintings to fired glass and their work is amazing!! Just click on the image for more details. See you there!

Remembrance Art

Another great idea by Gail regarding the Mind Wide Open contest - techniques used!! There were several new techniques & products I had purchased but hadn't used yet & this was the perfect opportunity to give them a try!

I started by printing off the image Gail provided onto photo paper and tore the edges using a deckle ruler. This was mounted onto a piece of 8"x10" matboard in a soft green. I used OmniGel by Houston Art to coat some sheet music printed on parchment paper. About 3 coats of the gel gave enough thickness. Let dry thoroughly. Then soak paper in warm water bath face down & begin to peel off paper backing. What you have left is a translucent image of the sheet music. Pieces of this were glued down with more OmniGel. Different colors of paint - soft green similar to background color, raw umber, burnt umber, raw sienna - were drybrushed around perimeter of image to soften into background.

I used gold & silver metallic stamp inkpads and different rubber stamps in 2 different dragonfly shapes & various scroll shapes to add extra surface embellishment. I also cut out one of the dragonflies that had been stamped onto extra parchment paper to add as a freeform embellishment at the end. The words are printed on ExtravOrganza by Jacquard, a printable semitransparent silk with paper backing for computer printing. I played with the orientation of my text as well as color & typefaces. Once the words were printed, I cut them apart & the organza frays very easily for a different effect. Using short choppy strokes into the frayed edges gave a bit of movement and I then rolled the strips into a little bundle & rubbed the frayed edges over the stamp pads to darken. The organza strips are left loose on the front and the ends wrapped to the back & secured.

My last embellishments were Grungeboard scrolls painted in the background color with random embossing ink applied & silver embossing powers added. There are 3 small plastic translucent tiles in the lower right corner that also have silver embossing from one of the scroll stamps. Frame as desired!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mind Wide Open Contest!!

Oh, my lost Love, your faint music follows me on tiny wings of Remembrance

Darling Gail from Shabby Cottage Studio has created a new blog called Mind Wide Open. Gail has set forth a wonderful challenge for any & all artists to let the creativity loose to create a new piece of art using a design she generously provides. You can then go to the blog & vote on your favorite. I certainly couldn't turn down such an offer so here is my entry. If you have a blog, come join the fun next time and create your own artwork. There are prizes to be had from Shabby Cottage Studio.

Gail will post all the entries starting tomorrow and give everyone a week to vote. Don't pass up the chance to see what will surely be some amazing & creative artwork!! Click on the link in the sidebar for Mind Wide Open to see all the entries and cast your vote. Can't wait to see what everyone has created.

And don't forget to vote!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Have a wonderful 4th of July everyone!

Our 4th will be celebrated with family & friends coming by for a BBQ out by the pool. There will be fireworks in the street as usual courtesy of the big boys (dads) and all the kids. This has been a neighborhood event since we moved here 15 years ago and everyone looks forward to it every year. In Florida, we don't see our neighbors as often during the summer months due to the heat & humidity, but special times like this seem to bring us all together.

Here is a new clock I just finished. Enjoy the holiday!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Cracker House

No, the title does not mean this is where you go when you have truly lost your mind... nor is it a place to score illicit drugs. A cracker house is old style Florida. The houses were built on a raised foundation and designed so that natural breezes could flow through. This is a colored pencil drawing I just completed. A friend has a newly refurbished cracker house on their property and wanted artwork to mark the completion. This isn't my usual art medium but was a very nice change of pace. Have you tried a new art medium or method recently?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Celebration of Discovery

Power of the Purse is an annual fundraising event for a local women's philanthropic group. The monies collected throughout the year is endowed to different support groups dealing with women's issues - ranging from literacy to legal and medical aid. The grant process was very thorough & the presentations by the recipients showed that the money will be used for worthwhile causes.
I had the opportunity to participate this year by donating a piece of art (enclosed photos) for their silent auction. The theme is purses - functional or nonfunctional pieces - and the amount of creativity in the entries was inspiring! Recycled materials was a definite ingredient in many of the pieces. We were invited to an artist's reception prior to the auction and it was really wonderful to get to know some artists that I wouldn't normally meet.
I had a wonderful time and am looking forward to submitting a piece for next year!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Roses & Denim

Two weeks from today Margot & I will join other decorative painters in Tampa for the Society of Decorative Painters' annual conference. Margot is teaching a class and is part of DecoArt's big event. The Decorative Arts Collection is also displaying a new book on handpainted carved Santas and Margot has a wonderful Santa in this book!

I have been busy painting a floral master board for submission in the SDP certification process - which is the reason for no post for so long!!! These submissions pretty much dominate your life for a serious chunk of time and I always seem to wait until the last minute to finish - must allow more time for next year!

Being in such a creative atmosphere for nearly a week can be very heady stuff and we are both working hard on our preparations for departure. I finished my handpainted jeans to wear to show & tell for our chapter's May meeting and wanted to share with you as well. Here is a close-up of the leg. There are a number of techniques included: hand painted roses, stamping, pen & ink, and vintage lace, button & fiber embellishment.

I have a commissioned piece I am working on right now that I will share when it is completed next week- something a bit out of the ordinary.

Okay, I am off to finish some more deadlines before we leave!

Do you have an upcoming creative pursuit coming up in your life?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Vintage Rose Collage

Today is a bit of a play day. I bought these wonderful clear stamps from sweet Gail at Shabby Cottage Studio and they have been "burning a hole" on my painting table for way too long. They finally came out of the wrapper today and became part of my artwork du jour! I started with a piece of wrapping paper that had a bit of a collage thing for starters. Various stamps were used with ink colors ranging from metallics, burgundy, rose & coffee, then embossing powders in an aged gold and white pearl were randomly sprinkled on, then heated with a heat gun to bubble away merrily. Before the heating, I discovered that I could take the sharp end of a wooden skewer and clean out areas where I really didn't want the embossing powder to stay, especially inside letters. I had the makings for some quick little mirrors and used a template to draw circles for the mirror backs. Before cutting out the circles, I painted some soft little pink roses in and around the embossing. When dry, cut out circles & assemble the mirrors. Voila! Quick & sweet & ready to give or sell. Hmmm....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Comments please...

Sorry if I have missed posting your comment... blogger doesn't seem to be cooperating today! It's been tweaked a bit so hopefully will behave. Please repost if your comment does not show up - we LOVE getting feedback from you!

Hot Glass

Margot had her first ART Experience in her new studio last week! It was a whole week of creativity - LOTS of new painting to do!! And we were exposed to some new stuff out of the normal such as..... HOT GLASS! This was just too much fun. There were tons of glass colors to play with as well as all kinds of ground glass and other things to put in or on the glass before firing. Our special glass teacher, SJ, was wonderful and encouraging... can't wait to do more of this! Here is the piece I designed from one of my butterfly patterns. I quite liked the loose result I achieved and already have plans for more! More photos are coming from this wonderful week of learning.

What techniques or new materials have you tried?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Sunny Disposition

We just returned from a week in Cozumel for their version of Carnival - a much more family oriented affair than the Mardi Gras in New Orleans! We spent a wonderful week with lots of beach/reading time for the gals and diving for the guys. Our friends from Idaho, Nancy & Eric, were glad to get out of the cold for a few days and we had a wonderful time visiting with our friends, Christy and Chucho - and their adorable little sweetheart, Sarina. Here is a photo of Sarina enjoying some wave action. She is a true water baby!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Light a Path to a Happy & Creative 2008

This is the time of year for new resolutions, but I prefer to think about which direction I want my creative self to travel. Are there new mediums & techniques I haven't tried yet or maybe old techniques just need to be revisited in a new way. My brochure is here for the Society of Decorative Painters convention held in May... do I want to try new techniques & teachers or do I want to further challenge and refine my knowledge in my current painting mediums?

Do I want to teach more classes this year? (of course!!) And what do I want them to learn?

This past year resulted in traveling down some very different creative paths. At the beginning of this past year, who knew I would have my artwork hanging in a fine art gallery in downtown Orlando? Didn't see that one coming at all but it was a direct result from challenging myself to follow a path never before attempted. For that matter, who knew I would start a blog and put forth my art for all the world to see?

My creative path is illuminated by many sources, but just a few are... very creative friends willing to generously share their time and ideas, the many and varied creative publications we have accessible in today's market, and so many creative blogs that provide so much inspiration... all have been invaluable.

Where does your creative path lead you?

Wishing you a Happy New Year and a richly creative journey.