"There is power in the magic of the everyday" is a statement made by Laurell Hamilton on her blog about her new book. This statement really made me think about what is truly possible on a daily basis and how important it is to live in the moment. So often I find myself waiting for those "big moments" to define my life... another birthday, another deadline, the next class to be taught... this list goes on and on!
The new year is nearly upon us. I don't normally make a formal resolution list but I do choose a few ideas where I want to focus my attention. This idea of finding and exploring the power of the everyday magic will surely be foremost in my thoughts for 2010.
One of the best things about living in Florida is not having to deal with the cold white stuff on a daily basis in the winter. Most of our "cold" weather is found indoors and manufactured. One of my favorite places to find the "cold" is at ICE at the Gaylord Palms - and that is on our holiday list for Friday night. We did have a bit of a chilly weekend which has helped us get into the Christmas spirit.
I created a new pendant to wear to some of the holiday parties. It is a large snowflake on a premade coral pendant purchased at Michaels. The snowflake design is created with Margot's Miracle Mud from Unique Glass Colors. This is an amazing new product that I will certainly be using on lots of future projects! You put the mud into a cake decorating bag with a very fine tip and pipe it out just like frosting. There is enough open time to use a paintbrush to manipulate the mud into all sorts of shapes. It also dries hard, is paintable and can even be fired in a kiln. Talk about versatility!! If you want more information, just follow the link in the right hand column for Unique Glass.
Is there another flower that speaks "Southern" the way a magnolia does? It is such a simply elegant flower and a favorite subject to paint in any medium! This is another view of the magnolia class I have been teaching lately.
Halloween is a very favorite holiday! What's not to love? You get to dress up - give out candy - scare the beejeebers out of everyone!! We had a great party to attend this year which gave me a chance to put on a "different" face - that's me on the right. Made my dress and the bat on the necklace. The fangs were interesting to put on. They were individual teeth that you mix a temporary epoxy which sets to the individual tooth. Once it hardens after about 10 minutes, you break the seal and the fake tooth slips on and off. There was one moment of panic when I couldn't break the seal on one of them, but eventually it came off - whew! That would not be fun to explain to my dentist!!
At the auction I was rushing around so fast that I almost forgot to take photos of all the auction pieces before they disappeared! Luckily I did get a decent shot of this clock I painted. It was a fairly thick piece so there was lots of surface to drape roses across. I love freehand designing pieces like this - no pattern applied so the roses tell you where they want to go!
Our painting chapter - Creative Artists of Central Florida - had our annual auction of painted items this past weekend. We have some very talented artists in our group and they contributed some absolutely wonderful artwork for the auction. Here are a few photos...
Painting from your own still life set-up is a wonderful challenge. It teaches you so much about problem solving. Color, object placement, lighting, line of design and more! Each painting is a learning opportunity. Try it sometime!!
UPDATE: This painting just won first place in the First Annual Kingslan Art Classic! I am so excited!!
The variety of masks we found in Venice was astounding! There were way too many to choose from. One of my most favorite looked like some sort of laser cut metal. The delicate & precise cutting was so incredible - and expensive. Oh well, maybe on my next trip. In the end, I chose this lace mask. It was romantic & elegant with a hint of sparkle. Plus it was a lot of fun to paint - challenging but fun.
There was a masquerade party on the ship the night we left Venice. It was really fun to see all the different masks that everyone found - such variety! This is another piece to the painting. The full painting will be revealed shortly!!
During our trip to Italy last year, we carefully selected souvenirs that would remind us of those faraway places. Some souvenirs were of the edible kind such as olive oil from Croatia - which was a pleasant & lovely surprise. Rome was more about shopping for our Catholic friends at the Vatican, but my hubby did find a nice piece of leather for himself. There was lace from Burano, glass from Murano, and Venetian handmade paper and masks.
Venice was by far my most favorite city. The romance of the gondolas, the mystery of the masks, all the bridges, palaces and secluded courtyards were magical. Extra thought was used in selecting those special souvenirs from Venice because I knew they were coming home to be part of some future artwork. This photo is a small portion of my first painting of my memories of Venice. The rest will be posted as though a mask were being slowly removed... to reveal the Masquerade Rose.
This is a new necklace I created for Margot. It features two of her gorgeous white roses and will be offered for sale as she rolls out her new painting DVD on how to paint these roses. I've had the privilege of painting with Margot for years & she is an incredibly gifted teacher! And I am so grateful for her friendship.
The necklace is something I created with the new Patera jewelry pieces, combined with crystals & freshwater pearls. This particular necklace is a limited edition - there will only be 50 of this design created. So if you want a necklace (and/or the DVD) let me know.
Right now I have two looming deadlines for this week - gotta get back to it!!!
Creating a new piece of art sometimes takes a great deal of time & effort. Preparing to teach that same piece of art takes even more time - prepping a pattern, writing instructions, taking clear photographs, and sometimes assembling all the materials needed! If you are really lucky, the finished work turns out even better than expected & becomes versatile as well.
This happened with the magnolia watercolor. Besides being a nice piece of art, I found out that the design can be reversed and the pattern divided into two separate paintings. Not only that but the design holds up to being reduced to a miniature size for making jewelry. It won't be mass produced - just a few individual pieces hand made. So if you are interested, please just ask!
I've been working on some new stuff as usual. This is a piece I finished last week just in time to take to my local painting chapter for show & tell. It will be the subject of my next watercolor batik class for later this month.
It is hard to believe that July is here and nearly half over! Before we know it, school will be starting and the holidays will be upon us again. I sat down to update my calendar for the last half of the year and was amazed (and a little frightened) of just how much is already on that list. How far out do you plan?
What a whirlwind of a week! Although my plans to blog from Peoria fell through - the internet connection was very difficult! - we had a great time!! Margot, Penny & I had a 2 room suite at the Staybridge and were quite comfortable. We did manage to just about walk our feet totally off and kept some crazy hours. We met up with fellow chapter members and got to spend time with Kate, a former chapter member who now lives in Colorado - Hi Kate!!
Here is a photo of Margot teaching the tulip class. Margot taught 2 classes and Penny and I had a full roster of classes - Penny & I even had a Sharon Hamilton class together on Tuesday. We learned new techniques & even new words - my new favorite word is Orpiment - what it does to a painting is magic!
Unfortunately, none of us passed our certification boards - but it is a learning process for sure! I already have my packet for next year and am already thinking about how to approach the exercise. Hopefully the others will join me in trying again.
Peoria is quite a lovely small city on the banks of a beautiful river. There was a Riverfest going on while we were there - if only there had been more time to explore a bit. The three of us did make it out to a really nice steakhouse on Saturday night - with Kate & some other painters (there were 9 of us total). This was the closest thing to a real meal we had seen pretty much all week - lovely salad bar & steak! There were grill stations set up in the different areas - you could cook your own or pay a small fee & someone else would cook it for you. Needless to say, after being on our feet for days we all opted to have someone else do the cooking!
Everyone had a great time and is looking forward to next year's convention in Wichita. Come join us!
The bee was quite fitting to represent what is soon to happen - members of our local painting chapter will be winging our way to Peoria for a very busy week.
Next week is my annual conference with the Society of Decorative Painters, so I will be blogging on the road. I'm rooming with a couple of friends, so it tends to be a fun "girl's getaway" with a lot of hard work involved! There are lots of classes to take, other artist friends to make or catch up with old friends. There are several of us waiting to see if we passed a certification board - we find out Wednesday morning! And, of course, shopping!!! Can't miss that trade floor. There are also lots of different parties and the banquet on Friday night.
Come along and get a taste of what convention is like. My plan is to take lots of photos & post every day, so let's hope the laptop cooperates and the camera holds out!
Found the time between deadlines to submit another entry into the Mind Wide Open challenge again. Gail hosts a really great challenge each month - she supplies the image & then the creative frenzy begins! I created the cover for a small journal. It is a perfect place to jot down those little sayings that strike your fancy.
Welcome to my summer tea party - would you like a cup? Miss Ladybug will be happy to serve you and Miss Honeybee will be providing the sweets! And the fairies will be sprinkling their magic over the festivities... won't you join in the fun?
There are so many new things in progress right now but nothing that can be shared just yet. Until then, here is part of a new piece that I can share with you. The background is one I created at Margot's last Art Experience. It has been altered a bit & is now at the embellishment phase. With a "time" theme, I may pull this canvas off the stretcher bars & mount it to a more sturdy background, then mount up a battery operated clock mechanism. An art piece that talks about time should keep it as well, don't you think?
Here's to mothers everywhere! My mother has always been a source of inspiration & comfort. She is my cheering section as well as the voice of reason...whether I agree or not! We laugh together & cry together - sometimes at the same time.
My husband occasionally complains that I am just like my mother... and I can think of no better compliment!
Penny & I created two separate tables for Spring Fling - yes we are crazy!!! Here are photos of our second table. This table was a lot of fun to put together - we each had elements to provide for the bags. Penny's sewing skills rock!!
The contents of the make-up bag are not in the photo. There was a small round mirror & beautiful hand made earrings by Margot's niece, Heather, & her friend, Amanda. Heather & Amanda's work can be found on Margot's website (see sidebar for address). They make lovely jewelry out of hand made paper beads & each item is a one-of-a-kind creation.
I am so blessed to be surrounded by such creative people...
Spring Fling is finally over!! It was a LOT of work but everyone had the most wonderful tablescapes, we had a great lunch, and everyone had lots of fun at the auction... and I am TIRED!!! Here are a few photos of one of the tables my friend, Penny Brown, and I put together.
This weekend is the Spring Fling luncheon, a fundraising event for our local painting chapter (CACF). I truly need my head examined this year because I volunteered to do not just one table but participate in two!! My friend, Penny B, and I are collaborating on two very different themed tables - and I have stuff in various stages of completion spread all over my kitchen and dining room. One table is called "Harvest Rose" and contains elegant roses & lace. The other is "Whimsical Teaparty" and is more vintage & funky. These little teapots are ceramic pins that will go on the whimsical table.
I have a scary amount of work still to be finished before Saturday, yet here I sit posting photos & blogging. I must be nuts!!! Why do things always sound great in the planning stages & the execution of said plans sometimes ends up feeling like - an execution?!?
Will post photos (if I survive this) of all the table stuff, so check back after Saturday if you want to see how it turned out, what we did, and if my sanity is a total loss.
OK - Maybe just a bit more... this turned out better than I anticipated & I just can't resist! This design is on an ACEO that has been sent somewhere special. More about that later...
Just got back from 10 days in Mexico and I am still trying to get caught up. There is a lot going on right now! Our chapter Spring Fling is May 2nd and I am painting furiously to get stuff ready for TWO tables - photos to follow on that. My friend, Penny, and I are collaborating on two very different tables - should be fun.
Also, the deadline looms for the SDP certification boards - May 18 is the deadline!!! I am working on a master floral board this year - keeping my fingers crossed!
In the spirit of April foolishness, here is the outside of a new little piece of art I just finished. Can't show the inside quite yet so this is just a little bit of a tease... more to come shortly.
The spring holidays are upon us. One of my most favorite memories is hunting Easter eggs in my grandparent's very large yard. I don't know who hid all those eggs but all the grandkids would gather together & have a fine old time of it!
My husband's family celebrates Passover and I can remember some special dinners with his family when we still lived in California.
The warm sunshine has been a tonic this week - lots to do and much accomplished! I decided to make a jacket that I have had planned out in my head for several months. It uses several fabrics from my stash - most notably some of the wonderful batik cottons brought back from the last trip to Hawaii. There was an amazing quilt store (looked like an old barn it was so big) on Kauai that I only had a few minutes to shop in. I could have spent a LOT of money in there as it was stocked full of batiks & Asian fabric. What I did bring home I have hoarded until now & some of this is worked into the jacket - photo coming but it is not ready yet.
Here I am talking about a jacket & Hawaii - so what is the relevance with the photo above? Not much I guess. However, I am planning my flower purchases for my pots on the front porch & back patio. These pink tulips were painted from a lovely large pot of flowers I put on the back patio several years ago & couldn't help taking photos of them. They were lovely, reminded me of spring growing up in Tennessee, but sadly are only found here in Florida in captivity! It just doesn't get cold enough (except for this winter maybe!) to grow them in the ground here.
But they are Spring Tulips! What says Spring to you?
One of the things I like best about living in Florida is the "usually" warm winter. This year has certainly been an exception! Now I realize that most everywhere else has been freezing but we aren't used to that down here. This winter has been much colder and managed to freeze all the vines off my back fence. Normally a little freeze doesn't bother them too much - the top layer might turn brown but there is green underneath and the first sign of warm weather encourages new growth. This year, the damage was so deep that hubby had to cut back all the vines off the fence down to the main root ball. Our fence looks bald & naked like a really short buzz cut.
Still, there is something to say for the promise of new beginnings. The weather will soon be warming up and those vines will begin to reestablish themselves on the fence. It will be interesting to see what survives and how the new growth shapes itself. There are several different types of vines - jasmine, bleeding heart, passion vine, clematis - and over the last few years the passion vine has covered over pretty much everything. The bleeding heart has cowered at the base of the fence. The jasmine peeks through at the beginning of the bloom but quickly gives up the fight. The clematis has its own space on an arched bench but managed to find its way up into neighboring trees and along a side fence, trying to outrun the passion vine.
So now we have a more level playing field. Everyone has room to grow & thrive - if they can survive the cold weather & severe pruning. The similarities of the vines and the current state of the world is not lost here. This is a time for reinvention and is something that we can do with a little help from one another... and Spring will come.
Even though I live on the outskirts of a major tourist destination (the Mouse in all its glory - 4 theme parks!!) there are still pockets of a slower way of life in evidence. One of those pockets is just a mile or so from my house in the form of a pick-it-yourself strawberry patch called Pappy's. If the weather cooperates there are usually fresh picked berries starting around Christmas all the way up until late April/early May. There is nothing like a fresh picked berry right out of the field. What passes for fresh berries in most markets doesn't even come close!
These were picked yesterday and had a little chocolate bath this morning. Margot's spring Art Experience starts today and these beauties are on their way over to her house to be enjoyed by her peeps. Of course, a few fell off the plate and will be enjoyed by my sweetie tonight.
Lots going on but not a lot I can post about right now. However, I do have a newly finished piece that I can share. This is a new painting I just finished for my husband for Valentine's Day. Nothing says you love your man like giving him a predatory creature of the deep!!! This shark is from one of his underwater photographs. Love ya toots!!