Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Directions

Here is a little bit of what I am experimenting with: pouring resin. This is pouring it in a different way than I am used to seeing. Usually I think of resin and think: jewelry. But I have seen some really cool artwork from artists who completely cover their canvases with resin after finishing their painting. They embed all sorts of objects in them first, then just flood their canvas. I thought I would start out small to get the hang of it. It takes some getting used to.

This piece is called "The Soul Knows". It's 6" x 6" x 1 1/2" cradled canvas panel. I cut this quote from a book that attributed it to Plato. I don't know if he actually said it but I liked the quote. The background is one of my CitraSolv papers. I just darkened the edges with walnut ink and then bravely mixed up a batch of resin. It doesn't smell bad; just a chemical smell. Of course, I had a lot of ventilation and my plastic gloves on, as they advise. Then I poured.

One thing about photographing these pieces. You can't help but get a glare from the resin. So, the top photo has the glare from the window and my big head (sorry for that). Here is an alternate version of the piece sitting on a shelf. The glare here is from a light in the ceiling. You can get a better view of the colors in the piece, I think:

Here is a side view to get a better view of the resin-coated front:

I really like working with the resin. I'll definitely do it again. It isn't that hard really. You just need to be sure that your conditions are perfect while the piece is curing. I happened to get dust on mine because I didn't cover it fast enough (maybe I should dust before doing another one?). I'll definitely cover it immediately after I get rid of the air bubbles. I did manage to get it smooth as glass and have no air bubbles. While I was busy patting myself on the back for that accomplishment, I neglected to cover it quickly enough to protect it from dust particles. :(

Other things are in the works and I will post those as soon as they are ready. My Muse and I are definitely on speaking terms again. She is very happy with me right now. We went on a little shopping spree on Etsy and found some awesome buys for collage art. Now, back to experimenting.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Out Of Synch

I drew this face today after working on some other projects that need drying time (something I have no patience for). I am trying to stick with my sketchbook habit everyday. But today I did something different. I knew I wanted to either paint or use oil sticks, so I decided to draw the face on watercolor paper. That way I would be able to use wet media on it without the paper curling up on me.

The top photo is the painting scanned into Photoshop and then manipulated digitally. I mainly used elements from Studio Gypsy's Junk Hound Kit at Scrapbook I love all the grunge. That's the mood I've been in lately: grungy, dirty looking art. The messier, the better.
Here is the painting:

It's 5" x 7" pencil, watercolor and gouache on hot press watercolor paper. I don't know why I vacillate between (trying to draw) realistic and stylized faces. I can't decide which I'd rather do. Today, I like my long neck girls again. So that's what I drew.

It seems like my Muse is all over the place lately. Up and down, flighty, wanting to do one thing and then changing her mind and wanting to do something I have about four projects in progress right now. Experimental pieces, encaustic pieces, and some jewelry pieces. Maybe I have split personalities...hmmm...better keep that to myself. ;)

So, lots of things in the works and feeling kind of out of synch. But I'm excited about what I'm seeing. Does that make sense? I guess there's a method to the madness. Right now there's more of a madness than a method, but we'll get there. I'll share what I have soon. There are some cool things taking shape.

One bright spot: I'm taking Kelly Rae Roberts' online course that starts May 31. I put a button up on my sidebar. If you click on it you can read all about it. The course looks to be pretty exciting. I've already seen some familiar faces in the welcome introductions. This is going to be a fun time! I'm definitely looking forward to what I'll learn from her.

That's all for today. Have a safe and fun Holiday weekend. I hope to have some new art to show soon!

Monday, May 17, 2010


It has been an interesting week. Hubby had some health problems that had us worried. Just a reminder that Life sometimes gets your attention despite what you may have planned. Things are settled down now and we have a plan to proceed.

All of this running back and forth to doctors and specialists gave me plenty of time to sketch in the waiting rooms. I've included some of my sketches in this post. This first piece is a canvas I just finished. Fresh from all of the activity of this past week, I was thinking how all of life's experiences take their toll on us. Little by little, as we age, we bear the scars of life's journey on our face.

This was a sketch I had in my book done in graphite and colored pencils. I adhered it to a canvas and then covered the background with light molding paste. I used encaustic medium to embed the face more into the canvas. Then I added crackle paint to one side of the face. I liked the effect of the "aging" on the face. The encaustic medium gave the colored pencils a bruised look over one eye which was unexpected but perfect for the effect I wanted. The quote was from Dante and jumped out at me as I was searching through my little container of snippets. I am loving this new (to me) shade of purple: Golden's Dioxazine Purple. So yummy and rich!

This next piece is a drawing I had colored with the pencils and then scanned into Photoshop. I call this "Dreamer". I have been practicing with so many different kinds of colored pencils and am having fun blending them all.

This next one is called "Bella". I put her into a digital piece but thought I would just show the drawing here. I used the Derwent Coloursoft pencils on this one.

And this one was an experiment with all the different colored pencils. I didn't name her yet. I am still thinking of what kind of setting to put her into.

So I've been sketching faces every night while spending time with hubby. It's been good practice and I'm getting used to the pencils. I have a special project I'm working on right now but I don't want to say anything until I get the first piece finished. It will be a time consuming project but it can be completed in small stages. The first stage should be completed by the end of the week! I'm LOVING this one!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Look Beyond

I decided to be brave and try to re-design my blog background. This is not easy for me. I know nothing about html code or how to change it. Thanks to my friend Kimmie I was able to experiment a little bit. I wanted to add my own artwork to the background; make it feel more "me". Since my Warhol collage has been so lucky for me, I had to include it! The colored portion of the background is a scan of one of my CitraSolv pages I made. Oh, did I mention that I won the CitraSolv Art Contest for the collage category? My Warhol was a hit! ;) I also added a couple of my encaustic pieces to the sides of the background. I tried so many variations of this background and the size is still a bit off. I'll try and tweak this is I go. For some reason, changes that I make do not show up when I upload the new version. So I'll stick with this one for now.

I used one of my sketches in the digital piece at the top of this post. I call it "Look Beyond" because that is what I'm trying to do. Look Beyond where I am now and envision where I want to be. I have a lot of goals for this year and I want to stay on track with those. I had a milestone birthday on May 6 and that is propelling me forward. Funny how that can alter your perception of things. If nothing else, it has gotten me to really sit down and think about what I want to accomplish yet this year.

I am the worst procrastinator there is. It can almost be debilitating how I will put off something just because I know I can. Ugh! I've done this my entire life: from grade school through college and still to this day! So, while I'm realistic enough to know that I won't change something that's been a part of who I am forever, I can kick myself in the butt and get going! That is what finally propels me into motion: getting so fed up with something that I am forced to make a move. Wish me luck in sticking with it!

I've been doing a lot of work in Juliana Coles' online workshop Altered States. It has really opened my eyes to a lot of different aspects of myself that I was either ignoring or were just completely hidden. This is an awesome experience. The participants are very open with sharing their pages and their stories. I love it and it's been a constant source of inspiration for me over the last few weeks. I've ordered a few of her workshop booklets from her Etsy site and was so happy when she decided to offer one online. It did not disappoint!

One other great site for inspiration is The Painter's Keys. I receive Robert Genn's weekly newsletter that always gets me thinking. The latest one had this quote from him: "An artist may be a lone wolf. She may occasionally run with the pack. Most often she is happy foraging on her own. She may be wily and alert to opportunity. She may know that adventure can bring out her best. There are times when she's out for blood. There are also times when she's as playful as a puppy." That sums it up pretty well for me!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dreams and Songs

I've been practicing my drawing every night! Monica's classes have gotten me inspired to really stick with what I enjoy: drawing and painting/coloring faces and then using them in my art. So every night while hubby and I share our evening either listening to music or watching TV, I have my sketchbook out and draw.

I want to learn how to paint them with acrylics. Monica teaches that, too, and that's my next step. These faces have been colored with pencils: colored pencils, ink pencils, charcoal pencils, and colored graphite (a new find!) pencils. I like the soft look of them and now I want to try painting on canvas.

These are two digital layouts I put together using a couple of my latest faces. I think of these two as the sisters because they ended up looking similar. The top photo I call "Muse Song". She just looked inspiring and the song she chants is "Believe". The second photo is called "Dream Weaver". She's the one who is bringing me such vivid dreams lately: all of them inspiring and full of hope!

The Midsummer Night's Dream elements came from Tangi Baxter's "Midsummer Night's Dream" kit at Scrapbook Graphics. She is an awesome designer and I love her kits.

I'm also working hard on my Extreme Visual Journaling class with Juliana Coles. This is a totally different kind of journaling and she explains her philosophy on her website. You aren't concerned with making "pretty" journal pages. Rather, you are after what's in your soul. I like that! It forces you to deal with the issues deep inside you at your core. I'm loving, loving this class! My pages are raw and not my usual style. But I like what she says: pretty art is for your art books. This is your life! So, when I'm brave enough, I'll post a page from my journal. ;)

That's it for now. I've just received the info from Monica's class "In My Garden". Now I must go practice painting!