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"'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, 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 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

                                                   "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!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Moustachio Houses in Somerset Gallery

     I adore the Somerset publications...I subscribe to several and purchase individual copies of many of the others. Wish I could afford to subscribe to everyone!! So I was thrilled when they accepted some of my art for one of their publications. Two of my "Moustachio Houses" were included in the Summer issue of Somerset Studio Gallery. By the way 138 "Ooh La La" and page 139 "Zany Tears" for those who have this issue. I sent the art for a "whimsical challenge" and they decided to use it in the Gallery instead. Somerset has tons of requests for art.....take a big leap and go for it. You never know when you will be accepted...and it's so much fun to see your work in a popular magazine.

                                                                      "Ooh La La"

     I will also being showing "Moustachio Houses" on Gallery Night here in Fort I am frantically working on more...more...more. Never been much of one to focus on one subject but I am having lots of fun with these little guys.

                                                                       "Zany Tears"

     These are on approx. 11"x 15" watercolor paper...collage, paint, mark paint pens for a really glossy black. I have also done a few on canvas and smaller watercolor well as canvas made from recycled, gessoed of my favorite surfaces. Since I have had rubber stamps made from some of the images I am going to do some cards as well....just need to come up with some funny sentiments. I'm not so good at that!! Even my journals are more visual than wordy.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Memory Jug Workshop

I have to admit I have a love-hate relationship with social media...blogs, facebook, twitter....emails!! It is all so handy for keeping up with the art world, friends and family....but I don't always feel like keeping up with everything and everyone. Sometimes I just need to retreat to my "art cave"... or "art hole", stick my head in the sand and not come out for awhile. Guess it's time to get my head out of the sand and get back to sharing some of my artful endeavors.

                                                The fabulous studio of Susan Wechsler.

The hand surgery and cast kept me from doing much in the way of art for's hard to accomplish a lot with one hand....and overusing it got a little painful. But I'm back with a bang!! I just returned from a truly amazing workshop in the studio of Susan Wechsler, a mosaic artist in Longmont, Colorado.  Susan has teamed up with artist Laurie Beth Zuckerman to host a 2-day workshop on Memory Jugs

                                  Laurie critiquing one of the memory jugs in the workshop. 
             It was fun to hear about all the memories evoked by the artists in their masterpiece.

As much as I love almost every type of art, my favorites have always been folk art and outsider art. I was born and raised in Texas and remember seeing memory jugs since I was a child.....I have always been fascinated with them. About 5 or 6 years ago I began trying to find out more about them...what they really are and most of all how I could make my own. I was surprised by how little information was available. I could not find out what the putty like substance was that most of them had been made from many years ago.  There just wasn't much known about them. I experimented with everything I could think of... even cement. Then a little over a year ago I found Laurie Beth Zuckerman, she had a book on CD which I ordered, 'Memory Jugs - Images, Instructions and Theories', ...I was blown away by how much information she had acquired on this little-known folk art.

        Judy Evans arranging her items for placement on the memory jug....or in Judy's case...her urn!!

When I received an email from Laurie announcing the workshop she would be giving in June with Susan I knew I had to be learn from the master!! The bonus was she was doing the workshop with Susan Wechsler, whose main forms of mosaic art are the wonderful 'Memory Dresses' and 'Altars' she creates from antique china, figurines and all kinds of other fabulous old stuff. I took my artist friend, Judy Evans, and together with 8 other artists from various backgrounds we spent two remarkable days learning from Laurie and Susan and each other. The collections of old stuff brought by these artists was a feast for the eyes and many brought things they had made to add to the jug... polymer clay, pottery, jewelry. I had some pieces I had made from air-dry clay as well as old jewelry pieces. I have been collecting for so many years it was fun to go through it all before the workshop and find pieces I wanted to include. 

                                                          Beginnings of memory jug.

                                            Finished jug, I also love blue and white china.

My jug was really large, it was a glass wine jug.... it had once contained a Carlo Rossi Sangria...but I liked the shape and wanted to see what I could do with the recycled bottle. Truly creating something from nothing. My favorite item I put on the jug is an old Toni Home Permanent Curling Rod from my grandmother. She use to give herself a Toni perm quite often....I can still remember the smell in the kitchen. I love my memory jug, it's on my mantle now .... I was thrilled to see the work done by the other artists at the workshop. Many had brought beautiful, collectible pieces from family members and made a true memory jug devoted to their family member. Perhaps the oddest was from my friend Judy (she's always a little odd, I think that's why we get along so well). Judy wishes to be cremated after her death and made her own urn for her ashes. I love fact I may steal her idea!!...and make my own urn as well. Let's just hope neither of us need it for awhile.

                   Close up of my jug, domino, jewelry, chain, air-dry clay piece and grandma's perm rod.
This workshop was so successful Laurie and Susan have planned another for September. If you would like to learn how to create your own folk art memory jug I highly recommend attending one of these workshops. It's a great location with great instructors and interesting artists working along side you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm Hand - icapped

     I have discovered how difficult life can be when you lose the use of one of your limbs...and how much you use your non-dominant hand! For about a year I have been bothered by basal joint arthritis in my thumb (I know, it's an old person thing). It's a painful thing too...cause it is bone on bone. The pain I could bear, dropping things was frustrating but the kicker was when I couldn't open my jar of gesso while alone in the studio. Okay...this is serious something had to be done. On February 7th I had surgery and have been in a cast ever since. Really puts a dent into my art time and even computer time...a lot harder to type and still can't open my jar of gesso. In fact I can't button jeans or put on a bra...but maybe that's too much information.


     Another bummer is I had visions of the old casts of white plaster being on my arm....perfect for Zentangle right? Nope, they didn't even have white, and it's not plaster it's a type of stiff cloth...not so perfect for tangling on. Many other colors to choose from.... I chose purple. I did do some decoration...but this stuff won't even take washi tape very well so had to add duck tape too. It comes off March 6th - between now and then I may cover it with gesso and turn it into a mini canvas of sorts. Not so sure my doctor would approve....but it may make a great submission to one of the Stampington publications or Cloth, Paper Scissors. What do you think??

                                                            Art supply doodle in CPS

     I do have some good news to share. One of my goals this year is to submit some of my art to publications. Yay, I was accepted recently into the March/April issue of Cloth, Paper Scissors. They had a call for an "art supply doodle" and mine was one of the ones chosen for publication. I would really encourage you to look for those calls of art as an easy way to begin submitting your own work. CPS is beginning a new publication called I Heart Paper....follow this link for submission information. It is due March 4th, give it a shot!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's in a Name?

Just had to share this. I was working on some art with my new line of stamps, "Moustachio", and trying to come up with names for each character. A friend of mine, who just happens to be a psychologist, was here for an afternoon of art. I finished the Artist Trading Card and asked what a good name would be...she didn't blink an eye...she immediately suggested co-dependent. I love it, so here is my ATC "Co-dependent". I used gesso, acrylic paints and stamped the image onto tissue paper. I love using tissue paper with stamps, it is so get such a clear image. I also colored the tissue paper with gel pens before I applied it to the ATC with gloss medium.I added the legs with gel pens as well.

 Here are a few other characters from the line.

                                                       "Cornelius" colored with gel pens.

 I am trying to get them all up on Etsy but it's a chore. I need a new camera, I need better lighting, I need to get better at photoshop...blah...blah...blah.  My dream is to have them licensed so someone else can sell them.

                                                              "Luigi" with gel pens.

 I took Kelly Rae Roberts online class, "Flying Lessons", she explains so much about how to set up and evolve a creative business. She has been major successful in licensing her art. It is a long road and so much to learn. In the meantime I wanted to share my fun and my journey.

                                      "Sid", I added a butterfly stamp and colored with gel pens.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Some CHA Favorites

I love CHA, the Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show. This is my third year to attend. Every year I get to meet some of my favorite artists and crafters as well as getting a sneak peek of all the new products. Every time I go I am struck by how many new markers are out there. I want them all!!!...even if I am not sure what to do with half of them. Some are permanent others water soluble...fine tip or chisel tip...transparent or opaque....I'm confused! Somebody please fill me in.

This year I did a few make and takes with some fabulous artists and saw demos with others. Joanne Sharpe was demonstrating Twinkling H2O's and Silks Acrylic Glazes by Luminarte. These are on my list of what to add to my craft stash. Joanne also has some great online classes I must take.

                                      Look at the yummy colors available in Twinkling H2O's!!

Julie Fei Fan-Balzar had a great make and take using Dreamweaver embossing paste. Several companies now have amazingly colored molding pastes...or demonstrated how to add color to molding paste. Another thing on my more with molding pastes, I love texture.

                                                        Dreamweaver embossing paste.

Beacon adhesives had a make and take decorating these gorgeous little felt bags. They had tons of flowers, buttons and gems and glitter to choose from. Janet Takahasi and Angie Vangalis choose the gray bag....I went for the turquoise (my favorite color). Kind of wish I had gone with gray too...really beautiful with the brightly colored embellishments added. Had a great time walking the show with Janet and Angie, both are exceptional lettering artists who seem to know what to do with every marker and brush they pick up.

                              In the Beacon booth with Janet Takahashi and Angie Vangalis.

More later!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Moustachio" Houses

Just got back from a fabulous week in Anaheim, CA...attended the Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show. So many things to talk about... I will be filling you in all week. There were so many talented artists and crafters many great new products. I will also be talking about my new line of Moustachio House stamps.

                  This is one of the stamps, measures 2 1/2" x 2". I colored it in with gel pens. 

They were manufactured for me by a company in Anaheim and I picked them up before the CHA show. I love, love, love's such a great feeling to see your designs become stamps. They are based on a series of drawings I have done over the last few months. Fun little house shapes with mustaches...."Moustachio" is the name of the line.

   Same stamp....colored in with Inktense pencils. This watercolor paper is a little time I will use a smoother paper.
It's been great fun to experiment with these little guys...adding personality and flourish to them. I plan to give each one a name...any ideas for the one above?? Since I love to work in my Smash Journals I have drawn, painted and collaged some of my houses in my journals as well.

         Acrylic paint, paint markers and clippings from magazines are used for Deedle Deedle Dum. Kind of Teesha Moore style. Using the eyes and lips from magazine pages as well as the borders.

    Acrylic paint, paint markers, napkins as collage. "Hung over", because the roof reminds me of an ice pack on the head.

                Acrylic paint, paint markers and stamps. "Adios Amigo" Complete with a big tear.

These are hand-made journals, filled with old envelopes. I normally add gesso and scrap paper to them and then add painted images. I love using recycled materials...envelopes can be made very durable for journal use with gesso, paint and collage.