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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mr. Potato Head

 I admit it I love the old toys that remind me of my childhood....which was some time ago. When I was a kid they introduced Mr. Potato Head and for those who don't remember.....it was a bunch of plastic parts like eyes, ears, noses and hats which had a little plastic stake attached to them....you simply got a real potato and stuck them where you wanted them. I came up with some really cool combinations and remember the smell of a rotting potato to this day! You should never leave a dressed up potato under your bed for more than a day or two.....just sayin'.


Decided to pay my respects to Mr. Potato Head the other day in the studio, this was so much fun.

                                       To begin, a little collage and paint on watercolor paper.

                                      Mr. Potato Head image added and beginning to paint....
                                      I like to add lots of colors in small doses to the image.

Here's to you Mr. Potato Head.....hope to do Mrs. Potato Head soon.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Can I do Minimalism?

I admit it, I have a tendency to decorate a canvas....just seems I get carried away with color and marks and stencils and stamps...oh my!!.....and paper.

The other day while looking for watercolor paper in my studio I found a huge sheet of 300lb cold press paper. It always seemed too thick and coarse before but this time it spoke to me. Already full of texture and weight I decided to use a minimal amount of "decoration".

Chicks

While I normally begin everything with gesso I decided to use a stick of charcoal to draw and then to keep it from smearing while I was painting I sealed it with matte medium. Yikes, it really smeared when I started brushing on medium....but I went with it. Sometimes mistakes make the best art. After it dried I used watered down Golden fluid acrylics....about 3 layers of color.

Drifting

I added more black with oil pastels and black ink......I like it. It's a very restful way of working, simple but colorful....and just a little mark making.

Crosswise

I also love experimenting with small, odd-shaped canvas. This one is a 4 x 12.....a little gesso, Golden fluid acrylics and black ink.    

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Craft and Hobby Association 2015

Lots of good stuff was happening at the Craft and Hobby Association show this year. I was really excited to be there, it's always fun....but last year my priority was moving my mom and getting her and my little brother settled .....MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!...so back to making more time for art.

The show ran Jan 9th thru 13th. There are lots of new products to see of course but also lots of wonderful classes to take with some really accomplished artists. It's like the who's who in the craft industry.

                                                          Supplies from Pam's class.

My first class was with the fabulous Pam Carriker, I love her art. We made journals using her color palette...which just happens to be my favorite colors too! We played with her new stencils, paints, rub-ons and I finally got to try one of Pam's favorite products...Derivan Liquid Pencil. She showed us how to apply it with a sponge over a stencil....didn't know you could use it so many ways. Once you blend it it has a hazy, halo effect.
                                                 
                                                       Liquid pencil used with stencil.

Another artist I always enjoy taking workshops with is Traci Bautista....I love her recycle ideas for creating art. She generously gave each student a copy of her book 'Printmaking Unleashed'.....it's full of inspiration. Thank you Traci!



I have admired Rebekah Meier's work with fabric for many years, but never taken a class with her. This was my chance. I really enjoyed the class and the new products we used. Rebekah furnished us with some of her cool new stencils, a fabulous tissue paper she had designed and some really nice fabric banners from  Fabric Elements.

                             Banner I made in Rebekah's class using her stencils and tissue paper.

Besides classes and workshops I ran around to different booths and sat in on their make and takes. It was such a blast learning how to use new materials. I am formally in love with Gelatos...scrumptious new colors have been added to the line. Talked to Rita Barakat who does some wonderful things with Faber-Castell  products, need to take a workshop with Rita real soon. Luckily for me she lives in Dallas and I live in Fort Worth...can't wait to get together with her.

                                                      Some of the things I loved at CHA.

2015 is going to be a great year, hope you will stop by to visit with Suzanne McNeill, myself and other fabulous artists who are teaching at Sparks Creative Arts Studio in Arlington, Texas. Suzanne was also at CHA...together we picked up some wonderful new products to use in the studio workshops and classes, looking forward to sharing the with you all.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Create a Painting from a Coloring Book Image

     The stacks of background pages in my studio are many. These pages are mostly watercolor paper with acrylic paints, maybe a few zentangle® patterns with markers, collage pieces....possibly the remnants of paint left on a brush before I place it in a water dish, a wonderful piece of image left from a collage or the scrap of a beautiful napkin I decided not to use. My favorite way to play with background pages is to just make random marks, alternating cool colors and warm colors until I have a pleasing combination adding more stuff as I go.

                                         Mixed Media painting on 9 x 12 watercolor paper.
                                                   
     While I was cleaning my mom's house for her recent move I ran across an old coloring book, it was full of simple images. I love, love, love these images. Recently I incorporated them into a class I was teaching at Sparks Creative Arts Studio, "Run with Scissors Play with Paint™".  I went back to the coloring book images the other day while playing with the backgrounds and decided to trace this fun bird with a worm onto tracing paper. I cut it out and used matte medium to glue it down, then added a little gesso and paint to complete the mixed media painting. What a quick way to make a colorful art piece, also works wonders if you find it difficult to draw an image on a busy background.      

                    GO PLAY!!.....and borrow your kids coloring book every once in awhile.

                                                    Bird image from the coloring book.

     If you follow the above link to Sparks Creative Arts Studio in Arlington, Texas you will find some other fantastic classes offered. My next class is "Confetti Glass", we will learn some wire wrapping techniques and fire recycled glass in a kiln.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Banners of Hope at CHA

    Just returned from the annual Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show in Anaheim, CA. Love this trade show...so many talented and giving people and so many fun new products and trends. It's a whirlwind few days.
     The CHA Designer group hosted some great sessions where they freely shared what they had learned about working in and supporting the art and craft community. Inspiration flowed freely!!
                                                        My banner for "Banners of Hope"

     This year I was happy to be one of the designers contributing some of my art to the worthy Charity Wings project, "Banners of Hope". As a designer you could sign up to receive an 8"x10" canvas banner from the Fabrics Art Council of CHA and return it all "fancied up" with your own art work and inspiring message. I chose to use acrylic paint and collage on my banner with the theme of friends. Friends are so important to us all when we go through tough times.
     There was also a booth set up at the show where anyone could participate and create their own unique banner. After the show all of them will be taken on the road to display in hospitals, shelters and charity organizations ....small messages of hope to brighten someone's day.
   

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Inspirations from 'The Beauty of Zentangle'

     'The Beauty of Zentangle' has now been published. How delightful to have an instant reference to the different styles of zentangle art done by artists from all over the world. Everything is represented in this book. Small, simple tiles which are appealing as little masterpieces or as up close examples of the artist's favorite tangles. I know I have a few tangles which seem to make it into every tangled piece of art I do.

                                  The cover is the truly beautiful work of artist Lorrie Bennett.

     The book is chock full of Zentangle inspired art and objects - everything from household items like lamps and mugs to jewelry, pianos, pottery and tennis shoes. Giving credence to what many tanglers claim, "if it stands still I will tangle on it."

                                                                      One single eye.

     One of my favorite things about Zentangle is how different each person's work is. Even though they use many of the same patterns the drawing style, color choices and intricacy of the work can vary greatly and be applied to so many different forms of art. This book is a real celebration of the beauty of the art of zentangle. 

                                           Color was added with Prismacolor pencils.

     Open 'The Beauty of Zentangle' to any page and you will be inspired to begin creating your own Zentangle Inspired Art (ZIA). Every artist featured began with one stroke and built upon it. They then had the courage to put it out there to share with the world. Their work can serve as a motivator for all of us to just begin.

                  Beginning to look a little like a city from Dr. Seuss, not sure if it is finished yet.
                
     All three of the pieces in this blog post began as simple strings drawn while I was on the phone or watching television, I added a few tangles then put them away. Over days and sometimes weeks I would go back to them and add a few more tangles. My intention is not necessarily to fill the entire page...that always seems a little overwhelming to me. But invariably I get in the flow and before I know it they become almost like little cities, strange creatures or bizarre flowers. Proving what Rick and Maria, the developers of Zentangle, have always said "anything is possible one stroke at a time."

     Thank you to all of the wonderful artists contributing their work to make 'The Beauty of Zentangle' a success, you each made it possible "one stroke at a time."

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Creative Art Studio and Gallery Night

       A lot, a lot, a lot has happened lately. Life has been full of distractions. Just when I felt I had some focus with my art...boom, life gets in the way. I was so excited a couple of months ago when I discovered "Pickle Ball"....it's played on an indoor court and is a cross between ping pong and tennis. I really hate exercising but love sports...the Texas heat makes it really hard to play some of my favorite outdoor sports...soccer, golf and tennis. This seemed a perfect way to get a little exercise, relieve a little stress and enjoy myself.... I even got my "super golfer" husband involved.  Great, we can spend a little fun time together. Then it happened, he was going for a shot and fell like a plank....broke his hip and had to have it replaced.  It's a tough recovery time so we are still working on it...slowly.

                                                             Nick Nack Paddy Whack
                                                        "Moustachio House" on Canvas

     In the meantime I had been helping friend and fellow artist Suzanne McNeill-Sparks open her new Art Gallery and Studio of Creative Arts in Arlington, Texas. The goal was to host her grand-opening in conjunction with Fall Gallery Night , a wonderful art evening involving galleries in Fort Worth and surrounding areas. Suzanne had invited me to include my "Moustachio Houses" in the gallery opening....really exciting but I needed to get some more work done on them. Luckily, I have a home studio...so I did a little art work and went to check on the hubby...then back to a little art work. It's finally done and I am ready for the opening.

                                                                    "Holy Moly"
                                        "Moustachio House" on Watercolor Paper with Collage

                                                                        "Wesley"
                                                   "Moustachio House" on Watercolor Paper

     Suzanne's studio will also be home to some great classes and workshops taught by Suzanne, myself and some fabulous artists. There will be open studio days and art journal days too, where you can come and learn as well as share with fellow artists. I am really excited about this new art venue in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and hope to see some of you in classes and hopefully on September 7th for the grand-opening. Here is a link to the list of classes and workshops offered. Come have fun with us!!