Thursday, January 30, 2014

Paint Party Friday - The Ancestors

One of the things we have been doing in the Painting the Feminine course, is that on the weekends we take a favorite concept of the week and explore it on canvas. I took to this canvas with the spirit of play.

The beginning, just paint smeared on from my palette from several days of painting.

There was a big jump to here.  I forgot to stop to take pictures. I had a lot more paint to the background and these figures appeared. I see them as all my female ancestors, the women who came before me.  They watch over me and guide me.

I used Sennelier oil pastels for the faces and hair.  The rest of the piece was made with acrylic paints. Right now this is hanging in my bedroom so it the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night.  What an amazing group of protectors I have.

Check out what other artists are doing today by going here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Insomnia Art

Early morning insomnia led to creating this page.  I started with a circle to make a mandala and just kept on going.  This was fun although it felt limiting with the rectangular page.  The center is oil pastel and the outer is acrylic paint.

I don't know about you but I am constantly reorganizing my art supplies/ Always looking for a storage solution that will work the best.  I found these great plastic containers the other day at TJ Maxx. They are made in New Zealand and they are great for storing art supplies. The plastic pieces fold down and the cover comes off.  Just the right size for water color crayons or oil pastels.  I bought 4 of them which was all they had.  Now I am on the search for more.  I ordered some from Amazon thinking they were a similar size but I was way off.  So I sent them back, now I will just see if I can find them at another store. The top one is thin and a really good size for the kind of things I want to store.  I hope I find some more soon. They are really great.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Sketches - Pencil and Watercolor

I took my inspiration from another artist who did something similar on Pinterest but I could not fine her name. There's was much more elaborate that mine.  I liked the idea of just doing the hair in color and leaving the rest in pencil.  I used Koi watercolors for the hair.  Then I drew the patterns in with a micron pen.

Check out other sketchers' are doing on Alexandra's blog 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Just A Page

For Paint Party Friday I just have a journal page to share.  This started out as a gelli print.  I used the wrong kind of paint for this technique so things got muddy and messed up quickly.  Then I added oil pastels for more color and to give it some definition.  I added it to a page that had the beginnings of a background. I thought the colors worked well.

Check out what others are doing today for Paint Party Friday.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Self Care

As I mentioned in an earlier post I chose Self Care for my word of the year.  Like I did last year I ordered a necklace from Liz Lamoreaux with the word hand stamped on it. I find wearing the word is a pretty powerful statement to the universe. It reminds me every time I see it just what my focus is.

I received this years necklace yesterday.  The stone is my birthstone an amethyst, I found this really hard to photograph. Now that my necklace arrived the year seems cemented in what I will do.

So far this year Self Care has been sort of a mindset. When I find that life gets a little crazy I step back and think no, you don't want to go there.  You're doing self care this year.  The result usually means I stop what I am doing.  I get off the hamster wheel and take a bath or have a nap and just sit in silence or any of the other ways that self care reveals itself to me.  Its a process of discovering how important it is for me, to put me first. What a journey this year is going to be.  I know I am going to learn a lot about myself with this word.

How do you bring self care into your life?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Journal Cover Tutorial

I planned to decorate a new journal's cover and thought I would document it for you. So here is a tutorial on decorating a cover.

This is the ugly brown cover of a Strathmore Visual Journal.  It is shiny with all these marble shapes. It's got to be the uglies journal cover I have ever seen. I always like to decorate the covers of journal if they are not pretty to begin with.

I dealt with the shiny surface of the cover by sanding it.  I took a sanding block to it but sandpaper would work just as well. Just sand it enough to remove the sheen.

I painted over both covers with 2 coats of gesso and let it dry.

Then I layered on some Portfolio water soluble oil pastels. I added water and blended the colors together.

Next I drew in the wet areas with oil pastel and it pulled some of the color off.  I let it dry and added black in the lines and more oil pastel on top.  This was the back cover.

For the front cover I layered oil pastels with no water.  I added a hair spray fixative to both covers and I was done. The one where water was added is much smoother and the one without has more depth and texture to it.  I like them both.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Painting the Feminine

I haven't posted any painting on Friday since I can't remember when.  This week in the studio I have been immersed in a course called Painting the Feminine.  Each day we work in our art journals to either a feminine word or concept. These are all intuitive paintings. I am including a few of my favorites from the week.

This one is for Healing.  I see the figure that emerged doing a healing dance of some sort. I love how all the colors came together.  Golden fluids, Liquitex basics and oil pastels.

This came from the prompt space and ease.  I like how everything is going upward. Vines are a favorite thing of mine to paint.

This came from the Full Wolf Moon.  The figure is releasing to the moon all those things that no longer serve her.  The wolf with her howling is releasing in her own way. It was especially fun to be painting under that full moon's energy.  We've talked about cycles in class and I have always resonated with the moon.  I'll planning to spend more time paying attention to how my creativity flows during the different moon cycles.

I am also in a class called 21 Secrets Live. I was lucky enough to win a spot in the course. It is a live course on a Spreecast where you journal along with the host and guest teacher.  I did this page during our first Spreecast.  It was so fun to be journaling along with everyone and then seeing everyone post their work.  Its the closest thing to making art with someone else.

I am linking to Paint Party Friday, make sure to check them out and see all the the posters. There is always a lot of great art to see.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Book Thief / Reframing

I missed the Book Thief when it came out in November.  I thought I would have to wait until it cam out on DVD but was pleasantly surprised to see it playing at the local second run movie theatre. I went to see it Monday night. This is one of my favorite books and to see it portrayed on the screen so beautifully was so fabulous! Geoffrey Rush was Poppa to me, all the actors were perfect in their roles. It brought back all the wonderful moments in the book. If its gone from your town so you can't see it, check out the DVD when it comes out.  What a beautiful movie and such a beautiful story.

Reframing Your Experience

I'm starting the year personally with a lot of artistic endeavors.  Way more than I have ever taken on. At one point I thought how did I get here, I must be crazy. Initially I had signed up for Studying Under the Masters and Be Your Own Beloved. Two classes would be easy to do.  Then part 2 of a class I had just taken came up and the discount price was something I just could not pass up. Then my friend Connie Hozvicka offered Painting the Feminine. A class with a subject dear to my heart. A bonus was to paint with all my fearless sisters again. It was an opportunity that I could not resist.  Then I won a spot in 21 Secrets. Yes you got it, I have five classes scheduled and some of them overlap. Here is my schedule. I feel like I am back in college taking too many credits.

Jan 3   - Painting the Feminine 4- weeks
Jan 15 - 21 Secrets - 21 weeks
Jan 14 - Studying Under the Masters - 9 weeks
Jan 29 - Draw and Paint What You Love -Pt 2  6 weeks
Feb 1   - Be your own Beloved - 4 weeks

Doesn't the schedule look daunting, it does even for me who juggles a lot of things.  I kept thinking was I out of my mind. This is where coaching came in and I coached myself in the process of reframing. 


The coaching concept of reframing is to take a different approach to our task, use words to reframe the experience.  Here is what I did.
I took inspiration from my friend Jessie Marianiello, she is a painter who created the Northernly Painting Retreat for herself.  She retreats to a cabin in the north of Minnesota to get a lot of her painting done. I thought I can do the same thing. I can look at all these painting classes as one big retreat.  Like being an art apprentice and learning from all these wonderful teachers. If I add up all the instructors I end up with 34 different teachers.  Now that is pretty intensive in itself. I am looking for a catchy name for it now. When I find the right one I'll be posting on Facebook about how it all goes. Just the fact of turning this idea around has made the overwhelm disappear.

The next time you are having issues and frustration try reframing your situation. A new outlook may just be what you need.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mapping 2014 Artfully

When I saw that Jill Berry who wrote Personal Geographies had a Facebook group so I joined at once. I have had her book for a long time but never managed to make any maps. Which is something I want to do. I figured that being in the group would inspire me to get going. Right away I learned about the Mapping 2014 Artfully project so I figured if I joined that would force me to act and it did.

I chose SELF CARE as my word to focus on this year. So I decided to use the map making idea to explore ways to focus on self care. I drew the figure in pencil and then used my Copic pens over the pencil marks and then erased.  The parts of the figure were painted with watercolor and then I used acrylic to fill in the background.  I really enjoyed making this map, it was a lot of fun and a great way to explore an idea.

You can check out all the other maps being shared today by going here to Jill Berry's blog.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Working On Re- Entry

I always seem to have trouble with re-entry after a trip but this time its been especially hard. On Christmas Eve we learned that our sweet niece Britney lost her battle with brain cancer. She was only 21, engaged and planning a wonderful life.  Its so sad.

On Christmas morning we packed the truck and headed out on our 1800 mile journey across the country. You know when you travel on Christmas Day nothing is open. I was happy we had brought a cooler with a few things. Christmas dinner was yogurt, cheese and crackers and Apple pie. The roads were good going out the trip is just long.

Amidst all the sadness there was new life to celebrate.  My sister-in-law Sue with daughter Leslie and Leslie's son Cody.  We spent a few days with family in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and then headed to lower Michigan to visit my sister, brother and cousin.

Here is a view going across the Mackinaw Bridge, it connects both parts of Michigan together. It was wind and cold, this bridge is 5 miles long and not my favorite bridge in the world. As you can see there was very little traffic that day.

This is a view of all the ice on the lake. I got a very frozen tundra like feeling looking out the window.

This is my sister Peggy with her two boys Casey and Jamie.  They are all grown up now. The last time I saw them they were little boys, how time flies.

This is me with my favorite cousin Norah, and my sister Peggy and brother Tom. It was so great to reconnect with family.  It had been a really long time. I always feel closer to my mom when I am with Norah. I learned a few new things this time.  It was fun reminiscing with her, she is such a joy in my life.

I didn't do much art on the trip but here are a couple pages. I call them Light unfolding. I needed to see some light amongst all the sadness.

They were both created with Faber-Castel Gelatos.
Just layers of color smeared together. Its a favorite way for me to use this medium.

In addition to the gelatos I had brought my Koi Watercolor traveling set. I drew this in pencil first and then just added the color. This piece has a lot of light coming through too.