Thursday, January 31, 2013

29 Faces Challenge

My friend Martha is continuing with her very successful challenge of making 29 faces in one month.
Click on the image to go to Martha's 29 Faces Challenge. Last year she did this Challenge several times on her site and it was fabulous. Me? Should I join in? Can I make a commitment to do a face every day for a whole month? Okay, I am allergic to commitments of any sort...but this time I think I need to give it a try.

I once was successful at doing a painting a day challenge for 3 entire months. Seems like a century ago that I did that! I even made a video for each of the 12 weeks that I did this. I don't have those videos anymore...maybe one remains. But it really kept me busy and highly productive, I must say.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Do You Journal?

I used sketchbooks for many years, but in recent years they have become something else entirely. They are now more of a finished piece. A statement of something. I like to follow themes when I do them now.

10 years ago I carried my sketchbook with me constantly since I was in and out of hospitals and doctors' offices routinely.  Someone that I loved dearly was dying, so I was attempting to maintain my sanity in the only way that I knew how.

Normally with my artwork I go completely overboard on color but all the drawings and sketches during this time period were done in black and white.  It was simply too exhausting to consider colors.  I was already drained from crying every day, and the black and white also signified how hard I was trying to keep my composure.

Today I decided to return to one of these old journals and add some text and colors to one of the sketches.  I made up a story for this woman.  I might just do this to more of these old sketches.  It was fun!

Here is another one. Claude.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bottle Babe #6

When I began this piece 6 days ago, it was inspired by American Horror Story. This weekly tv show is utterly violent, macabre and horrific and I was mesmerized with it this winter. Normally, I would not be interested in entertainment like this, so I surprised myself by watching it alone, in the dark, and not getting scared half to death. I used to be a total chicken and for two weeks after I saw the movie, Exorcist, I could not sleep.

This week I became enchanted and fascinated with the history of Egypt. There were a series of documentaries on the History channel and this Bottle Babe took an unexpected turn in the direction of Egyptian art. The influence is there, but not the hieroglyphics. I simplified my design considerably from what I had first intended for this one.

I was planning to add some red "blood" to the piece last week under the American Horror Story influence, but this week under the Egyptian influence she is devoid of blood. Speaking of the Egyptian influence, this first one that I did last year definitely was inspired by Egyptian art.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Inspires You?

I am sure that everyone has a different answer to this question. I don't profess to be an expert in the area, so all I can do is theorize about what works for me. Generally speaking, I would have to say that I inspire myself. I have to go searching for images or views in the world, paintings in museums, walk through art galleries and shows.

Some days this requires a good deal of work. You can look out your window and get inspired by a lovely sunset or the rain. But it really begins with your mind set. I have to be willing to BE inspired or it won't happen. If I am blue or funky and grumpy and I don't feel like exerting myself...inspiration does not arrive in my home.

This image was inspired out of necessity. I was doing a lesson for one of my classes, happily making marks and not thinking of any particular direction to take the painting. Suddenly I realized that I had a total mess on my hands and I had to get creative quickly in order to complete the lesson for my students. The image below is what it looked like initially.

Nothing about this piece inspired me in the slightest. I was embarrassed by the mess that I had created. After a little quick thinking, I began searching online, had a Bright Idea, and then I was able to video the process of my thoughts as I revamped the mess and made it into an Eggplant Still Life. Whew! I pulled that one out of my hat!

Monday, January 21, 2013

When Is Enough Enough?

I have long subscribed to Over Indulgence...after all I was born in the USA and we love excess here more than anything. How the economy could possibly be in trouble is beyond me, because we continue to buy crap by the carload.

Does it look as if I need any more art supplies?? I don't think so. But I am clearly addicted to buying and saving them...just in case. I have a set of Gouache paints that I bought back in 2004 when I was madly in love with the work of Stephen Quiller and there are still several tubes that I haven't opened yet! 9 years later!!

Over the years I have been purchasing fewer and fewer art supplies and those 40-50% discount coupons go unused ALL the time now. My budget is not what it used to be, but even so I have been unable to justify impulsive buying anymore. I used to think I could never have too many supplies or art books, but that is (for me) justification.

Meanwhile, I am reorganizing my work area. There are other stashes located in my studio, never fear...I will not run out of supplies for years to come......

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bottle Babe Series to date

The pieces showing in this photo are either finished or in progress. I have an additional 3 of them that are currently drying.

The plan is to begin adding wings and creating mythical type characters using the same or similar techniques. I'm seeing fangs, claws, and the usual hobgoblin and gnome features. I have ideas in abundance at this point because I have been wanting to do this for years and years so there is much to catch up on at this point!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Pink Pig Does a Drawing

Some years ago during my You Tube adventures, I created a character named Petunia. Petunia is a Pink Pig and (dare I say it) hand puppet. Petunia had many adventures over the years, but most noticeably she did a beginning drawing video for me. Here it is:

So here is my little Petunia Pig. I hope that you have enjoyed this basic drawing lesson.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Art History

Here is my new home schooling book. heheheh

The first and last time that I took an Art History class, I got an F. I was mortified. History was never a strong subject for me, but I could care less who had painted The Blue Boy all those years ago. That was then. This is now.

I feel very differently about life and history today. There is much to be learned from knowing what happened before, so I bought this book to begin my very own home schooling project. What is lovely about this particular Art History book is that it doesn't cover only the art of Europe. Believe it or not, peoples in other parts of the world have been making art since the beginning.

Lucky me! I get to travel on the wings of the world, increase my education, and look at wonderful artworks along the way. In my pajamas. Brilliant.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mermaid Paintings Videos

Here is the entire painting of MerMandy:

This video is MerKarrie:

And finally here is MerMichele:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Small Faces #21---Stone

Through trial and error methods, I was able to create this piece to add to my Small Faces series.

I was pleased with myself to be able to create this piece and make it look like stone. It took me some little while to achieve this effect, but now I know exactly what to do in the future because I wrote it all down and added it to my Small Faces Class and my Mixed Media Class. What a happy day!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Another Pregnant Bottle Babe

It will be several days at least before this piece is dry enough to paint and finish.

I added one of my Small Faces to the front of her in the belly region. I am excited to start painting her but I must be patient until she is fully dry before I proceed any further. I think she will look grand with a small amount of flowers or buds in the top of the vase!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What's on my table today

I am making another video for the students in my Mixed Media class and these are the items that I am working on at the moment.

Behind the white pieces are ones that are already completed. It's the white ones in the front that are incomplete, but as I continue to work on them and video my process it will all be posted in my Mixed Media class. I get asked often what I am using, but I am not so forth-coming with that information these days out of respect for my students.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Worms

Last month I had another Bright Idea for a new series and I am beginning the preliminary steps to the first piece. I have never worked with Altered Books before, so I don't know how long this could take to get what I am planning to do. This is just the beginning of the front cover. I think the insides will take me a lot longer to complete.

I am utilizing tips and advice from other artists on how to proceed with altering a book. People have been doing this for years and years, but this is my first foray into this area. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Technique Junkie

I will admit freely admit it. I am an addict. New techniques? I'm there. I have been obsessed with mixed media work for 20 years. The problem with this obsession is that I don't always consider design and layout, focal points, colors, or composition and I go flying off to try the latest and greatest techniques. Even if they have been in use by artists for 50 years, they are new to me. This piece below is a prime example.

I was so excited while I was creating this piece that I basically lost my mind and any direction. I was out of control. Only after the fact did I even begin to consider some type of layout, and the outside mat had to be created as an afterthought. Sometimes I enjoy the challenge of putting odd bits together and trying to make them cohere, and other times I wish I could plan ahead!

Whatever. I have tried to operate differently, but I seem to be completely incapable of changing my creative process. So I just go with it.......

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Small Face #20

This piece in my series has been in progress for some little while now. I am putting the finishing touches of gold leaf on it now, but from this angle you can't really see what is happening here. Once it is complete I will do a shot from above so that you can see where I am applying the gold leaf.

My inspiration for this comes from the Japanese tradition of adding gold to broken pieces of pottery when they are reassembled. I found out about this online and I thought it could look cool on one of my Small Faces.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bottle Babe #5 back view

It took me longer than I planned to complete this one....had a small physical problem here.