Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paint Party Friday... Spring Doll

"Spring Doll"   7x7   Mixed Media on Wood
(Finished with Beeswax)

It's time for another Paint Party Friday!

If you read my last post you'll remember that I was exploring a couple of different themes: Spring and Paper Dolls.  For this mixed media painting I combined the two.

(This photo was taken before I added the beeswax.)

This painting was all about layers!

I've received quite a few questions about the water soluble oil pastels I mentioned in my last post.  This is a photo of the box they come in.  Whoever said oil and water don't mix definitely hasn't tried these - I think they're fabulous!

In the photo above, you can also see the collage papers I created for this painting.  In a previous post I mentioned that I cut my own stencils and stamps.  Well, I also like to paint my own collage papers.  It's a good excuse to splash some paint around and play with colors and patterns.  

Now it's time for some fun over at the Paint Party Friday blog, but before I go...

I'd like to mention an amazing project:

The talented artist, Makiko (Maki) Hastings, is creating 1000 ceramic birds.  The proceeds from the sale of her beautiful birds will be donated to help the people of Japan.  For more information on this wonderfully thoughtful project please go here

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Springtime = Playtime

"Springtime" is the theme for Creative Tuesday at Mr.Toast's blog.  For me, springtime is all about rejuvenation, having fun, and play!  Since I just bought some very cool water soluble oil pastels, I thought this was the perfect opportunity for some studio playtime.  (I also added some prismacolor pencils, and the text was added in picnik.)

Speaking of play...

This week's Illustration Friday theme is "toy".  Even though I have never been much of a girly-girl, I remember enjoying playing with paper dolls at my Grandma Huber's house.  So, this week I've decided to revisit that part of my childhood and do some paper doll drawings (and paintings).

Please be sure to stop back later in the week because I'm planning on combining these two themes for Paint Party Friday.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hello, Spring?!?

"Spring Turtle"   2.5x3.5 ACEO
(available here)

My new motto:
If you can't actually have Spring (the cold and snow just keep hanging on!), you have to create a little "spring" for yourself!

This week's theme over at Inspiration Avenue is "Hello Spring...".  I had to dig deep for this one because I am finding it hard to remember what Spring is like. Ha!  (Can you tell I've had enough of winter weather?!?)

And since a Sunday just wouldn't be a Sunday without some Sunday Sketches, I offer you a (somewhat scary) glimpse into my head:

These pages are a pretty good indication of the crazy chaotic thought processes going on inside my noggin these days!  As I look at these pages, I think they would probably be a good submission for this month's Sketchbook Challenge theme: "Spilling Over".  My jumbled thoughts are definitely spilling over (all over my sketchbook pages)!

Sometimes, when I'm looking for ideas and searching for inspiration I flip through my old sketchbook pages.  This week while flipping I came across this page:

This is a page I created at this exact time last year.  (Before I started blogging.)

I thought this page was particularly interesting because I'm feeling that creative restlessness again.  It makes me wonder if there is something about Spring (or waiting for Spring) that causes these feelings...  Wanting to try something new... The need for experimentation...

I'm curious, are you "creatively restless" too?

Please be sure to visit all of my friends over at Sophia's blog to see how they're creatively handling the change in  seasons.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paint Party Friday... Mini Paintings

Another Paint Party Friday means it's time for a...

"Shellebration"   2.5x3.5 ACEO
(available here)

(Hee hee!  I just couldn't help myself!)

"Patchwork Turtle"   2.5x3.5 ACEO
(available here)

I was so inspired by last week's Paint Party Friday... Quite a few of the partiers created ACEOs and mini paintings.  Since I don't normally work so small, I was definitely intrigued.  I started by doing one of my reverse paintings. (It's definitely a challenge at this size!)

"Turtle Universe"   2.5x3.5 ACEO
(available here)

If you read my last post, you know I've been working with a turtle theme.  Well, I guess I wasn't quite ready to give that up just yet - I've been having too much fun learning more about them.  Some cultures believe that the turtle carries the world upon it's back...

"Flying Sea Turtle"   2.5x3.5 ACEO
(available here)

And I was fascinated by the way sea turtles look as though they're flying through the water.

"Floating Turtle"   2.5x3.5 ACEO
(available here)

It's time for me to take off... I've got a party to go to.
I hope to see you there!

p.s.  I just had to share:
You might remember the fabulous fortune cookie that Heather Stillufsen shared at last weeks party?  Well...I bought it!  
It arrived today with the fantastic "Paint Party Today" illustration she also did last week!  What a wonderfully thoughtful and amazing gift... Thank you Heather!!!
To say I am thrilled is a huge understatement!

(I'm a big believer in supporting other artists by buying their work when I'm able to... Look for a post soon that showcases art I've recently purchased.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Turtles and Babies, Oh My!

This post contains cuteness to the extreme:
Enter at your own risk!

Bob's cousin and his wife are expecting their first baby, and as a gift I painted their nursery walls to coordinate with the Turtle Reef bedding and canvases they bought.


For the baby shower this past weekend, I made a turtle diaper cake...

And turtle candies!
(I think this photo looks like an edible mandala.)

You may remember from this post (and this one too) how much I love cake pops!  Well, among family and friends I've sort of become the go-to gal for them.  I definitely couldn't pass up the opportunity to create these little guys!

Crazy cute, right?!?
(I warned you!)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Sketches... Shaken Not Stirred

This was the sketch I originally did for this week's painting, "Shaken not Stirred".  The sketch was okay, but I thought it could use a little tweaking.  I thought it might be better if the head was larger and the body was smaller, but I didn't want to re-draw the whole thing... So, I used a photocopier to alter my sketch (it is such a fabulous tool for artists).  I made the head 10% larger and the body 10% smaller, then I glued the pieces together in my sketchbook (making the neck smaller too).

Voila!  A drawing that I felt comfortable turning into a painting.

The physical difference isn't huge, but I think the impact is!

Don't forget to visit Sophia's blog to see what my friends have been up to this week!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Painting For... Paint Party Friday!

"Shaken, Not Stirred"   16x20   acrylic on canvas
(Please excuse the glare on this photo.  The painting is still tacky.)

The phrase "Shaken, not Stirred" (made famous by James Bond, of course) is what immediately popped into my head when I heard that this week's Illustration Friday theme is "Stir".

For this painting I got back to the basics... good old fashioned acrylics (no house paint this time)!  It felt good to take a more traditional approach with my painting for this one.

A few close-ups.

I am very excited to say that this is the painting I am sharing over at the very first Paint Party Friday!  Whee!!!

I will be popping in throughout the day tomorrow (at the Paint Party Friday blog) to chat and see what everyone else is up to!  I'd love it if you would join us... Eva and I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Creative Tuesday: Breakfast

"French Toast"
Photo with Colored Pencil

I'm not quite sure why my mind always seems to immediately head to the nearest pun... Maybe it's because when I was in art school my professors always said, "Stay away from corny and cliched art" and now I'm rebelling... Maybe it's a sickness... Maybe I'm just plain silly.

Whatever it is... It's fun!

For this punny piece of art I found a toast photo here, then I drew on the eiffel tower with colored pencil.  Ahhh, but of course, eet iz how you make zee "French Toast"!  Oh la la!

Since I'm on the subject, I would like to offer a "toast" to our host...

How could I resist?!?

Please be sure to visit Mr. Toast's blog to see what my Creative Tuesday friends have cooked up for the "Breakfast" theme!

And don't forget - Paint Party Friday starts this Friday!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Sketches: Another "Warning"

This page from my sketchbook was my original idea for Illustration Friday's "Warning".  Coal miners used to use canaries as an early warning system (because the canaries would be killed by any toxic gases in the mine before harming the miners). 

It turns out that a pink elephant is more my style, so this idea never made it past this quick sketch... Sometimes that happens.

While I was sketching I couldn't get the song "Canary in a Coalmine" by the Police out of my head, so I decided to add the lyrics to the page.  I've posted the video for this song below in case you haven't heard it before.  But...

This song may get stuck in your head!

Please be sure to stop by Sophia's blog to see what my friends have going on in their heads!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Whimsical Warning in Black, White, and... Pink?!?

"Pink Patchwork Elephant"   10 1/2 x 11   Mixed Media on Wood

If you see a pink elephant, you've probably had too much to drink.

Well, this is what mixed-media multi-tasking looks like.  The theme at Illustration Friday is "Warning",  the theme at Inspiration Avenue is "Black White and Pink", and... there are few things more whimsical than a pink elephant, so this is my entry for Whimsical Wednesday (a day early)!

This is another one of my "reverse" paintings (using one of my left-handed elephants from this post) and I had so much fun creating it I wanted to share the process with you:

Don't forget to stop by the Paint Party Friday blog...

The fun starts on March 18th!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Sketches: Flowers!

This week I was inspired by this post over at Alisa Burke's blog.  (Be sure to watch the video... so, so great.)

I was also inspired by a beautiful bouquet I received.  I love flowers but I'm notoriously bad at keeping them alive.  One way to keep flowers forever?  Draw them!

Gerbera daisies are my favorite!  What's yours?

Please be sure to stop by Sophia's blog to see what's inspiring my friends this week.

And don't forget to mark your calendar...

Paint Party Friday starts on March 18th!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Celestial Swarm

"Celestial Swarm"   16x20   mixed media on canvas
(prints available in my etsy shop)

When I googled the word "swarm" (Illustration Friday's theme) I was amazed at all of the photos of swarming butterflies!  (I had no idea they did that!)  It seemed almost otherworldly, which led me to incorporate Inspiration Avenue's "celestial" theme...  That is how my mixed media painting "Celestial Swarm" was born.

I had lots of fun playing with textures and patterns...

This is how the painting started out.  I am really getting into layers lately...

What are you getting into?

Don't forget to mark your calendar - Paint Party Friday starts on March 18th!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Here Is...

I feel like there has been quite a bit going on behind the scenes in my little part of the (blog)world, so I thought I would take this opportunity to share some of the things I've been up to.

I was interviewed by Helen from Scarlet Designs as part of her "Blogs From Around the World" series.  (You can read it here.)

I receive many questions about my art, and this past week I received an email with specific questions about the painting techniques I used in my One World One Heart painting and also in the Bohemian Butterflies painting.  After I wrote back, I thought it might be useful to post my answer here too (just in case anyone else was wondering).

Here is the question:

I'm curious about your materials and technique for overpainting the bright backgrounds you paint. What type of paint do you use? How do you cover the background so completely? I've done some background/overpainting like that but never got the background covered as nicely as you! I'm using acrylics. I'm wondering if I'm using the wrong kind of paint or just not enough.

Here is my answer:

The truth is that I use whatever paint I have lying around - I generally use artists acrylics for underpainting, details, etc.  For the overpainting in the paintings you're talking about I actually used latex house paints - it's great for opaque coverage (and I always have lots - before I had Tyler I was the co-owner of a mural/decorative painting company).  I mix my own colors using white latex (usually satin finish) with the basics - red, yellow, blue, brown, black.  Sometimes to achieve a really intense color you have to rely on artists grade paints... it all depends what I'm mixing.

As far as technique, for the heart painting I used an expired plastic gift card to apply the overpaint (kind of like a trowel)... first a deep blue (I think that was actually some craft paint I had lying around - premixed), then I put on a layer of turquoise latex house paint, then a layer of light green house paint - I let a little of each previous layer peek through.  For the butterflies, I used a brayer for the overpainting - I actually used some saran wrap to dab on the colors, then used the brayer while it was still wet to blend it.

(I love receiving emails and I'm happy to answer any questions I can, so feel free to email me anytime!)

And, speaking of painting, I think Eva and I have kept you in suspense long enough...

On Friday March 18th, Eva and I will be launching Paint Party Friday!  I think it's going to be a lot of fun and I hope you'll join us!  (You can read more about it here.)

Since I'm still on the topic of painting, I would be remiss if I didn't mention...

The amazing wood mounted print I just received in the mail from the very talented Lori Diane!  I have loved this painting of hers from the moment I saw it and I was lucky enough to win a print of it during OWOH!  If you would like a piece of her gorgeous artwork for your very own, be sure to visit her etsy shop.

Thank you so much Lori (Bob and I know exactly where we are going to hang it)!

I would like to finish today's post with some gratitude by giving a shout out to some great etsy treasuries and a big thank you to each of their creators:

I'm so happy to be a part of these fun treasuries - thank you for including me!


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