Monday, June 28, 2010

Finding Balance

I can't believe how fast the weeks are going by. There are so many things I am trying to get caught up on and it seems like I'm just treading water here. It's very frustrating to realize that I haven't made as much progress in any of the areas I had hoped to and yet another week has passed! :(

I made this top piece as a sort of digital journal page. I was looking through my sketch book and came upon a series of fast little sketches that I did a while back. These were whimsical little drawings that I then transferred onto loose canvas. I am planning on painting these individual canvas pieces and doing more with them (yet another project). And I even know where I put the stack of cut out canvas! Yay for me!! :) The background is from Lori Davison at Scrapbook Graphics dot com.

Anyway, this digital piece came together as I was thinking about the word "balance". Kelly Rae has talked a lot about this in her ecourse. If you've been following along in the last couple of posts you know I'm taking her course on starting your own creative business. It has been an incredible course. So much information and so worth every penny. I have met some incredibly talented, generous and wonderful ladies along this journey! What a great experience!

Hubby and I met up with some old friends this weekend that were passing through town and had the best time with them. We met for lunch and I don't think I've laughed so much in a very long time. That got me to thinking about how I miss connecting with my friends in Ohio and made me a little more homesick for family/friends there. And then I started to think about the need to balance time with friends and time in the studio. I spend a lot of time alone creating and usually that's fine with me. But I realize that it's also just as important for me to get out and get some fresh air, interact with others and not be such a hermit all of the time.

I have all of these expectations for myself and what direction I want my art to take. Yet I also need to be aware of the need to balance that with time to take care of my health and to check in with my friends and family too. I'm so glad we had that time with our friends this weekend! It was a great eye opener and a fun trip down memory lane.

I do have a few works-in-progress to show. These are NOT anywhere near finished. This first one is from Sharon Tomlinson's class that I mentioned in an earlier post. Oh, it's such a challenge to paint faces! As you can see, I'm very new at it. I like the idea of the technicolor faces and this was my first try for critique. I used a model from a magazine as my inspiration and to be a guide for the placement of lights/darks on the face. Sharon has given me a few pointers and I'll now go in and see what I can do with it. What I like about this: the background!

This next one is a face that I sketched in my oversized journal I got a while back. It's filled with this heavy, cotton watercolor paper. Lots of texture and fun to draw on. This is purely for practice and play; no pressure. I sketched this face and then just started throwing paint on it. Actually it was paint left over from the face I was painting in Sharon's class. So we'll see where it ends up eventually:

And hubby has set me up a nice little workbench in the basement workshop. We've got a few drills, a bench vise, some copper tubing and lots of metal bits...more to come on that later!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Staying True

One thing that is really hitting home in taking Kelly Rae Roberts' course is her message: stay true to yourself when setting up your creative business and when making your art. There are so many ways to do much inspiration out there...and so many helpful tutorials and articles on "how to" do things that it can all get overwhelming. And then you start to second guess...everything. Am I doing it right? Am I doing anything worth doing? WHAT am I doing? On and on it goes.

I've kind of hit that wall a little bit. I'm so thankful for the information and the resources that Kelly is sharing in her course. They will be invaluable in the weeks to come as I sort it all out. But I had to take a breather and just re-evaluate what it is I am wanting to do exactly. I'm not alone in this dilemma; I've seen others in the class asking the same questions. We're all just trying to make sense of it all and find our own paths. It's all exciting and the possibilities are endless, but you do have to start narrowing down where you want your focus to go!

I tend to be all over the place when it comes to my art. One week I'll really be into painting, then I'll switch to drawing and colored pencils or watercolors, then I'll do some mixed media on a canvas, then I may want to play with encaustics. You get the idea. But regardless of what medium I choose to work in, I have my own ideas on how I want my piece to look and I know a lot of times it's not what is probably considered "correct". Hubby always comments on my girls that I draw: "I like her but her neck is so long". Yes! I want to draw long necks. Maybe I'll stop at some point but right now I want to keep it up. It makes me happy. And happy Pam is creative Pam! :)

So I'm mulling all of this over and still trying to get some art made in the meantime. I started Sharon Tomlinson's class on painting faces in Technicolor. I must say it is a challenge. I don't paint faces too often. I love to draw them and color them with colored pencils and inks. But paint and's definitely a steep learning curve. I'm on the verge of pitching the first canvas. I have so many layers on the poor face it's sad. But it's my first time actually painting a face on a canvas with acrylics. I've attempted faces with watercolors or painting on watercolor paper, which for some reason was a little easier than painting on the canvas.

Sharon had us sketch three versions of the same model. We were to find our own model. Of course with my abundance of fashion magazines laying around I had no trouble with that. We have three different canvases to paint so I have two more fresh ones waiting to start. These are small (6" x 9" canvas boards) so no big loss if I have to trash them. I'm going to persevere one more day with this first one and then call it a "warm up exercise" and start another one. But I want to wait for her next lesson to see what new things she introduces before I tackle the next canvas. I'm glad I saved my favorite sketch on canvas for a later lesson.

Last night I sketched a face in a little 3" x 5" sketch notebook and colored it with my pencils. This is kind of the idea we are going for with the technicolor look on canvas. It's so much easier with the pencils! I scanned her into Photoshop and put her into this digital collage but I wanted you to see the colors that I'm trying to get with the paints. By the way, the sketch is mine but the elements are from Tangi Baxter at Scrapbook Graphics. She is my favorite digital designer. I just lover her style! Now I'm going back to that darn canvas and try again...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Little Magic

Things behind the scenes are moving along a little slower than I had planned. But I am making progress. I've had some family in for a visit and hubby had some trips out of town. Life just gets in the way sometimes and you have to stop and make time for family. This week, I hope, things have settled down and the real fun will begin. There shouldn't be any interruptions and I think I'll actually have an entire week to experiment with my new ventures.

I've been making new batches of CitraSolv papers and having great results with those. I've found with the terrible heat and humidity that the pages are easier to make if you do a few at a time rather than a whole stack at once. This was something that I didn't have much luck with in the Winter! But it's so much quicker and pretty much instantaneous with this Summer weather. I've got big plans for these papers and I'll show you a peek of that project later this week.

Some things that I had really planned on trying out by now had to be put on hold because the product I needed was back ordered for over a month. :( Can't be helped when you are at the mercy of online suppliers. Oh well, it's here now and I can finally get busy with it. :)

So, a little magic can start to happen this week (at least I hope so). I am excited to try these new techniques I've been reading and studying about. This whole thing is a new art form for me and will be just one big experiment. But you never know what can happen until you try. For the photo at the top of this post, I decided to use one of my recent sketches in a digital piece I put together. I added some magical bits and hope she can bring me some inspiration as I head into the week!

And I'm still loving Kelly Rae Roberts' ecourse. There is so much material that she is sharing with us on starting your own art business. It's a lot to take in but all of this will gel and begin to take form as I sort through it all. You may see some changes to the blog here and there as I learn how to tweak it and start to delve into the tech stuff. But I'm mainly in the information gathering stage right now and I know I can at least handle that much. ;)

So this week I'm looking forward to no interruptions and long hours playing in the studio! And, hopefully a few surprises to show very soon! And if not finished works, at least I hope to show some works-in-progress.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dreaming Big

This is an encaustic piece I did when I first got my kit a while back. It's 6" x 12" on plywood. Nothing special but I keep it in my studio to remind me to dream...dream big. Kelly Rae's course is reminding me to stay focused on my dreams and not to get off track. That's something that I easily do: lose focus.

I saw this YouTube video in an encaustic group I belong to. It's an older video but I never get tired of watching this encaustic artist work. And she works BIG. Talk about dreaming big... I want to be her when I grow up!

While we're dreaming big, I always thought it would be great to have a warehouse-type studio. One with lots of windows and a workspace where you could spread out all of your tools and equipment...really let loose.

She is an awesome artist and inspiration to watch. Enjoy!

Friday, June 4, 2010


This is my latest resined panel. It is 6" x 6" x 1 1/2". The sides are painted black. I tried to take a photo with the least amount of glare from the resin. There is just a slight bit in this photo on the very edge. I am getting a little more used to working with the resin. It's not perfect but a little better than the last one. I learn from the mistakes with each one. Ideas are definitely taking shape!

I call this one, "Discovery". As I was working on it I was thinking about the ecourse I'm taking with Kelly Rae Roberts (see button on sidebar). It's about starting your own creative business. This is something I've dreamed about for a long time and am working very hard to get going. I love this course. She is sharing what did and didn't work for her as she launched her successful business. It's been the exact thing I needed right now and I am so glad I signed up for it.

I have a lot of ideas for the direction I want my art to take. I don't have a single medium that I work in. I like to explore the different forms and see what results can come from working in them. I have a few surprises waiting in the wings. They aren't quite ready to show but are getting close.

These resined panels are really giving me a lot of inspiration. Hubby loves them. He wants me to do some bigger ones for the living room. I told him they are not easy! I want to work bigger, too, but I have to take it slow to figure out how the resin reacts to the different things I add to it. I'm going to do a series of smaller ones first. Then I will gradually move up in size. In the meantime, I'll be filling up the niches in the built-in shelves in the great room with my art. :)

I am really happy with this latest piece. It turned out exactly how I envisioned when I started it. That doesn't happen too often. I don't always have a pre-set notion of how I want something to look but for this one I pretty much knew what I wanted the overall look to be. I added different inks and other elements to this piece before adding the resin and was unsure how the resin would react to those. I was a little nervous when I started the pour but all turned out okay. So it's all a big adventure. The fun is in the discovery!

More to come on my experiments with yet another new art form and updates on my progress through Kelly Rae's class. I hope to announce the opening of my online shop soon!