Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year"
-Ralph Waldo Emerson



Happy 2013 to all my friends and family!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Crochet Crazy

I am the first one to confess that when I was younger, I never liked anything crocheted. My great-grandmother had taught me how to crochet when I was little but after she passed away, I never picked it up again. That is, until a few years ago, for whatever reason, I got the itch to start chrocheting again. I bought some yarn and hooks, subscribed to Crochet! magazine and did it off and on, especially in the winter months. This year it has been different. Perhaps it is because I am older and my tastes have changed, perhaps the availability of free and beautiful patterns right at your fingerprints on Pinterest has something to do with it, or, perhaps it is the fact that crochet is all of the sudden cool again. Whatever the reason, I am loving it and I can't seem to stop...that is all I want to do.
Here is a picture of a crocheted snowman ornament that I made for a friend of mine for Christmas. It was fun and quick to make and if you are interested, you can learn about the pattern here.
Merry Christmas!!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Little Owl

These days one of my favorite spots for inspiration is Pinterest. The other day I found a little stuffed owl on Pinterest that caught my eye - he made my heart melt. I followed the link but instead of taking me to the little owl, it took me to a beautiful website. If you have time and want to feast your eyes, I would go check it out. Perhaps the little owl is hiding among the 1800 or so pages, perhaps not. I have not found him. If you do, and could let me know, I would love to know so that I can add the link here and give proper credit. You can find the blog by clicking here.

Here is a picture of the canvas. I don't sell my art so when I decided to do a paper-pieced canvas of the little owl, I was pretty faithful to the original design. I love, love the results.


Update: I found the little guy! He is one of the tons of amazing creatures made by skunkboy creatures. You really need to go take a look. They are amazing!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Oh, Christmas Tree

A little watercolor inspired by an online workshop, Art of Wild Abandonment 2, taught by Junelle Jacobsen. Simple, opting for red instead of green for the tree and a few drops of watercolor to suggest lights and ornaments, painted on a gessoed Alegro coffee bag. I think I will be making several of these to use as tags for our home-made gifts this Christmas. 



"Christmas doesn't come from a store, 
maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more." 
-Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Season

It has been so long since I have posted! I have been reading Artful Blogging, trying to find out what the secret is of those wonderful bloggers out there who post beautiful entries day in and day out. I find myself in the middle of the Christmas season, thinking about using several of the tips I have found and making my New Year's resolution be to become a better blogger, if only as a commitment to myself. So, here I am!

I don't have any art to post today but would like to share pictures of the process of making what my husband calls his 'Aunt Bev's Hard-Tack Candy'. Every year he makes several batches of this candy in many of his favorite flavors and always also includes a couple of new flavors to try.

His flavors this year were Egg Nog, Cinnamon, Key Lime, Cranberry, Maple, Chocolate Chip, and Peppermint. Making this candy, breaking it, and bagging it always marks the beginning of the Christmas season for us.








Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ireland

Sorry I have not posted in a while! We went to Europe for an almost 3-week vacation because my husband had work in London. This was the first time the kids had been out of the country and only their second time on a plane. I don't much enjoy flying so although I was looking forward to the trip, I was very much  dreading the flight. We did it, though! We made it there and back :-)!

We spent the first half of our vacation in London and the second half in Ireland. I can't express in words what beautiful places both England and Ireland are so I thought I could share some of my Ireland photos here, along with some of the sketches that I have added to my journal. I will start with Ireland because that is where I took my best photos. I think by then I had become familiar with my camera as I was trying not to use it in auto-mode. The London pictures need a bit more editing and I have not quite finished them yet so I will add them to a later post.

Beautiful Irish Ram, Dingle Peninsula


One of our favorite memories from Ireland (aside from the woolies, of course) is the Irish Soda Bread that is served along with every meal. We had sandwiches made with soda bread, we had it for breakfast, and also with soups for dinner. I have never had such delicious bread that is so easy to make. I am including a recipe here that I have made several times since we've been back and a sketch of the breakfast basket that was presented to us every morning at our B&B in Cork, The Garnish House. If you ever go to Cork, I would highly recommend staying there. The breakfast was delicious, the rooms were very comfortable and clean, and the owners were always so warm and friendly.

Sketch from my travel journal


Here is a link to the Ireland Slideshow. It is on YouTube so the quality of the photos is not as good as my actual photographs but it was the easiest way to post it here. It plays to music from Mutefish, a group that we saw playing on Grafton street in Dublin one evening while we were there. We enjoyed their music so much we bought a CD from them on the spot. I still listen to that CD on my way to work while I reminisce. If you watch the slideshow, you will see them play in a short video that I have included in the show. Enjoy!





Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Half

The prompt for the Focus52 challenge was 'Half'. What better to post in the middle of a hot summer Texas day for this challenge than half a watermelon! This one was from our local farmer's market - and it was juicy and delicious, down to the very last bite.


Cuban Tody

The prompt for this week's Focus52 challenge was 'half'. Funny enough, the focus group is a photography group and is intended to prompt you to take a photo using the prompt (one prompt a week, for a total of 52 photos per year). My head has been so wrapped around art that I took the prompt and ran with it but instead of taking a picture, I made a canvas. The canvas includes 'half' of a heart and a cuban tody bird. Since birds and hearts are my favorite combination, I am not sorry I missed the point of the challenge completely! So, here is my bird and coming soon will be the photo that I should have been thinking about instead of painting this cute and colorful little birdie.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mint-Chocolate Chip Inspiration

I've had little time for art these past couple of weeks. It seems like most of the time that I have goes into cooking, or cleaning, or laundry or my son's baseball games - you know, life. This week's prompt for the Summer of Color - Ice Cream Inspiration challenge that I am participating was Mint-Chocolate Chip. Watercolors are delightful and fast so when I saw a photo of this little birdie on Pinterest, I decided to do a watercolor of him so that I could enter my post before my time was up. He made me smile when I was done.


“Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending
 beneath her, still she sings away all the same, 
knowing she has wings.” -Victor Hugo

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Get Down

The past few months I have been looking for challenges that push  me outside my box - (Writing on my art, journaling on recycled books, being messy) I encountered one such challenge the other day while browsing the Internet. The website is twoscoopz.com and the challenge is called Focus52. Each week, participants (anyone can participate!) are given a prompt which we use to inspire us to take a photo. I love taking pictures but taking a photo based on a prompt is a challenge for me.
The group is no pressure...you only have to share when you want to participate, you are not obligated to post a photo each week if you don't have time, and you are welcome to browse through everyone else's photos anytime. The only rule is you cannot use old photos - the photo must be taken on the week the prompt is given. This week the prompt was 'Get Down' as in, get on the ground and force yourself to take a photo from a different perspective than the one we are normally accustomed to. Here is the photo I ended up submitting for (my) week 1 - I took it in my garden, laying down on the grass.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Poppies

I did this watercolor of poppies on Arches Cold Press paper. LOVED the smoothness of it. The colors slid across the page effortlessly. When I scanned this I had used a 0.3 copic multiliner because my 0.5 had stopped working. I didn't like how thin the lines were so I went over the word with the copic brush.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bloom

Today I plan to graduate from my one-letter pieces to one sentence. I did a watercolor of poppies and I plan to journal on it tonight. In the meantime, I wanted to share my 'bloom' watercolor. I did it first using a smooth paper (Carson Acrylic 185lb), then a hand-made paper. I thought I would fall in love with the hand-made paper but I have to confess that I loved the way the colors floated on the smooth finish better. Here are both pieces for comparison.

Cold-Press Watercolor Paper

Hand-Made Watercolor Paper


Friday, May 25, 2012

Wish

Simple is always harder for me. I overwork acrylic paintings or add too many details to sketches. Not surprisingly, after all the hard work I do not want to add a word or words to a piece for fear of detracting from it or messing it up. It was a friend of mine's birthday this week and I need to quickly create a card for her. A simple card, I told myself. So, I combined a watercolor background with a simple sketch and added one word in honor of the class Letter Love 101 that I am currently taking. I was very happy with the results and my friend loved it. Most importantly, I think, the word adds to, rather than detracts from the piece!



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Take me out to the ball game

One of the greatest gifts Junelle gave all of us in the Art of Wild Abandonment workshop is to see the mundane and every day moments as opportunities to create art. She taught us how simple it is to capture those memories with a simple little sketch. This weekend my son's baseball team had their end of season party at the ball park and I went with sketchbook in tow. I was not sure what I would sketch, thinking that I would probably sketch one of the umpires since they seem to sit the most still :-). After a while, I realized that the perfect sketch opportunity was right in front of me. My son and his buddy, with their backs to me, completely immersed in the game. I normally would have taken a photo, but this time I sketched the  moment and I am so glad!



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Watercolor & Doodle Hearts

I am currently taking a watercolor class along with a lettering class. I have done many watercolors (not much lettering at all) and have never combined one with the other. Trying to step outside my box, I decided to use one of my watercolor backgrounds and practice some doodle lettering on it. I could not get myself to do it!! I decided instead to doodle a couple of hearts - this was so much fun! - and add one of my birdies. I am not sure this piece is finished - maybe I will get the nerve to add some journaling, maybe not! For those of you interested in lettering, especially if you are a beginner, I highly recommend Joanne Sharpe's Letter Love 101. You can find the badge on the right side of my blog.


While I am at it, I also wanted to mention another workshop that I am currently enrolled in (will start May 21st!). It is called "Your Living Canvas" and it is taught by Christy Tomlinson and Art McCracken. This workshop is a 6 week course and is intended to help define us as artists; to help us, through our art, celebrate our relationships, heartaches, joys, and insecurities in addition to help us learn a ton of new techniques for both canvas art and art journaling. I am so excited to start it! If this sounds like something you've been looking for, you should check it out now. Do not worry if you don't have time to take it now. You can register and then will have access to it for a full year! Christy even offers a payment plan. You can check out the website by clicking on the Your Living Canvas badge on the right column of my blog.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Our garden after a rain shower

We had a series of strong thunderstorms go through yesterday. There is not much I like better than our garden after a good shower. The flowers are refreshed, the overcast sky intensifies their color, and the droplets add that little extra something to the photographs. So, I grabbed my camera in between showers and snapped a few shots of my favorite 'girls'. These are not all of them, I will share the rest as I have time. I think I will use these photos for inspiration for an art project this weekend!



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

As I mentioned in other posts, I have never been comfortable with my lettering. A couple of days ago, I came across the work of Joanne Sharpe and was immediately drawn to it. The colors she uses are amazing and her lettering, WOW...her lettering is all that mine is not. Although I am at the moment taking 3 workshops simultaneously, and really did not need to commit my time to any more, I could not help but check out her website. It took me only a few moments to decide to sign up for the Letter Love 101 workshop. I have watched a couple of the videos already and I can't wait to start working on my lettering - I just need to buy the supplies. To make it more exciting, some of my friends from The Art of Wild Abandonment workshop will be joining me. I am posting a little sketch of a bird I made this week here. I can't wait to see what the lettering on my sketches will look like after I take all 29 lessons included in Joanne's workshop!

Add caption

Monday, May 7, 2012

Radishes

Today I am sharing a little sketch that I made a few weeks ago. It was inspired by The Art of Wild Abandonment class as well as my garden. I took the picture below when our radish seedlings had just started braking the earth and having just taken the workshop, I decided to add a sketch to my journal inspired by the photo.


If you are here because of the  bloghop, welcome! Details of The Art of Wild Abandonment bloghop are in my previous post. Thank you for coming by!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lose the fear

My journal page
Inspiration photo


I am a perfectionist, always have been. But if there is anything I have learned in the last few weeks while taking The Art of Wild Abandonment workshop (more about this here) is that trying to be one, while making art, will not get me anywhere. To make art, REAL art that speaks to me and other people, I must try new things, step outside my box and not be afraid to mess up.

I signed up for this workshop because I needed something that would push me.  I never before kept an art journal and even while taking this class, instead of writing freely on my art journal, I  would paint on it, then stop and only days later, sometimes, I would add words. The fear is paralyzing. So, when I was invited to participate on this bloghop, I decided that for this post, I would push myself, create a page in my journal, and write on my piece regardless of how afraid I was to do it. My inspiration was a picture of poppies I had taken with my iPhone while on one of my walks (above). After I finished painting my page,  I added words that reflect my fear of 'tainting' my art with my writing. I have to admit, it was fun and it came out well enough that I want to try this again. It might not be my most wonderful, but it is at least a step in the right direction. I hope you like the final page and get inspired, maybe even take the workshop yourself if you have not already done so. Enjoy browsing! Oh, and don't forget, continue on this bloghop by visiting Julia Monroe's blog. Happy blog hopping!


Birds and nest with acrylics on canvas - Another project I made while taking this workshop



Thursday, May 3, 2012

I am very excited to have connected with many talented artists during the pasts couple of months through the workshop 'The Art of Wild Abandonment'. Many of us are participating in a bloghop this coming Saturday. What this means is people visiting our blogs on that day will be able to hop easily from one blog to the other. There are more than 50 artists participating and everyone is so talented! The event promises to be so much fun, full of eye candy and creativity. So, if you are visiting my blog, come back Saturday and join the fun!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Painted Bunting

It has been a long time since I blogged. Just when I was thinking to myself that I should give it up entirely,  something crossed my path that inspired me to make more art and pick up blogging back up again.

Early this year I took a workshop called The Art of Wild Abandonment. The class is led by Junelle Hallstrom Jacobsen, an incredibly inspiring lady, who in three weeks managed to inspire me to create more than all other books, workshops, and classes I have ever taken, ever did. The class is over, but the past few weeks I, along with many of the other artists that have taken the workshop, have carved a perfect little world in the workshops's Facebook page. We continue to create and share and be inspired by everyone else's work. None of us want it to end! And so, today I am going to share a watercolor that I did. It was inspired from a picture that one of my newly found friends took and shared with the rest of us. The photo was of a Painted Bunting that visited her yard and he was so beautiful that I could not help myself and so I painted him. He is but one reminder of the many beautiful creatures that we share this earth with and one of the many reasons why we should appreciate and care for it and be thankful for it, every day.