Sunday, February 24, 2019

Another Lesson and TWO Paintings!

I've been blessed with few extra days to play in the art space these past weeks. We've had one day out of school due to ice last week and I've also had a little extra time on Sunday afternoons. It's been wonderful to spend more than thirty minutes painting or sketching. I'm always happy to take what time I can get! This afternoon has been rather chilly and windy, but fun watching the tiny snow flurries out my window while playing in my art journal. Nothing is really sticking, but it's still pretty!

I recently finished the third lesson in the Micki Wilde series, "In Search of Pinecones." I really enjoyed it! In this lesson, Micki guides the student to create an adorable little fox! When I originally started this lesson, it was on a piece of watercolor paper. Then I decided to also do one on an old canvas. I don't know why, but I ended up doing two of the exact same painting, just on different surfaces. I should have tried different colors or tweaked them a bit more, but was more focused on how the different surfaces reacted with the same materials being utilized.

The colors on the watercolor paper version are more vibrant compared the canvas. It was interesting to see how these two different surfaces absorbed colors and markings. The canvas had a LOT of texture from stenciling with pastes, so it was more difficult to sketch upon. In the end, I think they both turned out pretty cute. When I was creating them, I opted for a little flower on their heads versus the pinecone in the lesson. Honestly, I should have done one of each! I've really enjoyed these lessons so far and am looking forward to starting another one soon!

Little fox on watercolor paper.

Fox on highly textured canvas.

Close up version of the canvas copy. I couldn't resist adding a bit of enhancement of colors via Photoshop Express. :P

Another close up of the canvas to better see texture and markings.

Happy Paint Party Friday!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Art for Good Bundle and Micki Wilde Class

Hello again! I have missed connecting with everyone online these past few months. I haven't been around much, as my husband has been dealing with some challenging health issues. We are hopeful that things are now headed in the right direction. :)

Several months ago, I signed up for The Art Bundle for Good classes. I've been wanting to do this the past several years, but have always missed the deadlines. I'm excited to say that this year that wasn't the case! Stop by their website, Bundles for Good, to read more about the amazing things they are doing to help others in need and sign up for the April 2019 session!

Recently, I've downloaded multiple classes. One of those was Micki Wilde's Fawn and Forest classes. It was so much fun! I love the nature theme and have enjoyed sketching and painting forest critters.

As you all know, I'm all about the blue/green color scheme, so this was really out of my zone of cool shades. For this lesson, I decided to not overthink anything, work quickly and just have fun. This little owl is the result. She's quite quirky and I adore her! There's some awesome texture from many layers of a previously unfinished painting that was covered up. I can't wait to start another lesson from this series.

Quirky owl amongst wood chips in the flower bed outside.

A closer look at the little face. 

I love the etched in paint around the leaves! Lots of awesome texture in this project. 
Looking forward to seeing everyone's art this week at Paint Party Friday! Hope you all have an amazing week!!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Making Gifts from ART!

The last month or so,  I've been working on creating cards and bookmarks to use as gifts. I originally started creating them to use for holiday gifts, but have already sent some in letters to friends. :) I got a little carried away and that is the only project that I've been working on for awhile now.

The most recent creation is the little bunny below. I painted her on watercolor paper using NeoColor II watercolor crayons and acrylics, along with using washi tape, collage pieces, stamping and a few texture tools.

Bunny card-original

Below is the front and back of the card after color copies were made. In my experience, the copies are always a bit darker than the original. I still like the way they look, but will continue to play around and experiment with printing options. 

Besides printing cards, I printed additional color copies of my favorite painted pages to create bookmarks and magnets. I backed the bookmark designs with black paper and will laminate them prior to gifting them. The last batch (not shown), I added a pretty ribbon with beads along the top. I think I will add some pizzazz to these by doing the same. The round pieces along the top of this photo are magnets. I love how they turned out and they were super easy to make! Simply trace the glass dome on desired paper, cut out, then adhere to the dome with matte gel. Add a magnet to the back using matte gel and you're done! Super easy, but so cute and usable. 

Magnets and Bookmarks

Here's a close up of the magnets. I may have to keep this set and make another for gifts. ;P 

Super fun and easy magnets. 
Like I said earlier, I kinda became obsessed with making these. Here are more bookmarks...this time with different paper. For these, I also added butterfly stickers and washi tape.

Finally, since my sister's birthday is just a few weeks away, I decided to make her a card and a few magnets. We purchased this cute dog print paper together last year and I know she loves it, so it became part of her card and the magnets.

A few fun things to add to my sister's birthday gift. 
I've enjoyed creating all of these as well as giving them away. Currently, I'm finishing a second "cute animal" card. I'm hoping to create a total of three, including the bunny card above, and print a set to gift as a boxed set. I can't wait to share these soon!

In the meantime, I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving and will have a great upcoming week! Happy Paint Party Friday...just a few days late. lol. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Life Book Creativity and Wellbeing Summit

A few weeks ago, Willowing Arts hosted two fun filled weeks of The Life Book Creativity and Wellness Summit. The summit featured artist interviews, daily art tutorials and some cool art gifts. The content of the summit was incredible. I was able to participate in a few projects and listen to a couple of the artist interviews.

In the past, I've enjoyed participating and learning from Life Book artists. I feel like I've grown over the years and definitely gained more knowledge and skills through each lesson. I'm seriously thinking of gifting myself Life Book 2019 next year.

I loved the summit and wanted to share two of the projects that I was able to complete. The first project was the opening lesson of the summit and was taught by Tamara Laporte. We used Neocolor II watercolors, along with other elements such as acrylic paint, torn papers and washi tape.

Butterfly Mixed Media: Neocolor II Watercolors

A closer these butterfly stickers!

The second lesson I was able to complete was taught by Melanie Rivers. She created a beautiful woman using purples, grays, blues and white; the colors of a moonstone. I loved the color scheme and decided to do the same. It took me several hours to work on this lesson. Faces are just so hard! I love all the texture elements. Melanie had us using a palette knife for the hair and also for writing in the wet paint of her shirt and around the edges. Lots of great texture in this lesson.

Portrait of a Girl: Mixed Media using Golden acrylic paints

I noticed that my torn music papers were from 1940! I thought this was really cool and made
sure not to cover it completely while painting over her shirt. It is in the lower left corner.

It was wonderful just spending some time in the art space the last couple Sunday afternoons. It's become the part of the week that I look forward to the most. :)

I am currently finishing mixed media cards and bookmarks and look forward to sharing them next time.  Until then, I will leave you with a few photos of the beautiful flowers in my backyard.

These are some of my bargain flowers that I purchased earlier in the season. I think they
were $2.00! Just a little TLC and they are gorgeous. 

This is my memory garden. I created it almost two years ago when we
lost our precious little beagle to cancer. Even though we had her 13.5 years, it was so hard. 
These beautiful mums were on clearance at Lowes! They were all of $4.00 and one even came with
a plastic pot. I couldn't resist when I was there yesterday. I love looking out my art space and seeing so much color in the

I hope everyone has a blessed week that is filled with kindness, friendship, love and creativity! 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Watercolor Play!

Wow! I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post. Time flies! As teachers, my husband and I have been busy with the start of a new school year. We've also been spending time learning whatever we can about autoimmune disorders, the best methods for treatments, trying anti-inflammatory diets, researching functional doctors versus traditional doctors, looking into allergy testing and so much more. My husband was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, possibly RA, earlier this summer and it has been a struggle these past months to try and determine the best treatments. The RA has caused heart and lung problems, as well as fatigue and pain throughout the body. It's been tough as a couple that's been active all our lives and eaten fairly well to wrap our brains around this diagnosis. We are still in the beginning stages of learning things, but have lately tried hard to get enough sleep each night, eat more whole foods and make time for relaxation. As I type this he is currently watching football and I am getting ready to relax and read a book. :) I think many of us rush around all the time and forget that we need moments for complete relaxation. Anyways, we are hopeful that as we continue to work on things, we can put this disorder into remission and help him feel better soon.

Last weekend, while relaxing and enjoying a quiet hour, I put the finishing touches on a few watercolor practice pieces.  As you know from the last post, I've been reading some amazing art books. The last several weeks, I've been playing with watercolors and completing practice pages from Danielle Donaldson's book, The Art of Creative Watercolor.  Not only is Danielle's work absolutely beautiful, her book is full of excellent tips and practice opportunities. I've been using a library copy, but think I'm going to be treating myself to my own copy very soon!

I'm sharing a few photos below, but have realized as my phone is getting older, the photo quality isn't as good as it used to be. I tried various times to retake photos and even work on them in photo apps and they still seem lackluster in color and clarity. Hopefully, there will be an update soon! In the meantime, I'm happy to be able to share something on the blog! Hope each of you are doing well and wish you all an excellent weekend.

Watercolor practice pieces from Danielle's book.

Quirky Green Bear

Flowers practice with salt

Butterflies practice with Posca Pen doodles

Friday, July 13, 2018

Painting Notes, Cool Art Books and Daisy Journal Page

While I've been away from the blog awhile, I've tried to keep art as a little part of my days. Recently, I checked out three amazing books from our local library. These titles include: The Joy of Acrylic Painting by Annie O'Brien Gonzales, The Art of Creative Watercolor by Danielle Donaldson and Fabulous Figures by Jane Davenport. The library did not even have in their collection the last two, but after I submitted a request, they purchased them! Now, there may have been other requests too, but I was amazed at how quickly the books arrived. 

Awesome Art Books...

The Joy of Acrylic Painting is the title I started reading while waiting for the other two to arrive at the library. There is great information in this title! I've read the first several chapters, and absolutely love the idea of using Painting Notes to record my journey. Inside I brainstorm ideas, make notes from my art reading and sketch. Of course, there is so much more you can do within the pages of your notes. The goal is to write something every day, which so far has been a challenge for me. If I can do several days a week, it is a win! I also really liked the idea of looking at our art ancestors and their works. I've always thought about this, but not actually gone and looked up various artists and several of their works. It's interesting how some remind me of even current day artists. For example, when I was looking at Paul Klee's Landscape with Yellow Birds, it reminded me of Flora Bowley's artwork using birds and flowers. Both artists are very inspiring!

I feel like this book has been helpful at just kickstarting some ideas and getting back into the groove of creation. Below are a few of the pages that I created in my Painting Notes book. It's a bit hard to see the work/notes created using pencil, but you can get the idea of what Painting Notes looks like. It's not really a journal to create artwork inside, but rather something to use to note things you would like to remember or things to try. I tried adding some color, just because I love color!

Introductory page with ideas from the book. 

More ideas and a few sketches.

A page of sketches inspired by various artists: Jennifer Seely, Paul Klee and Flora Bowley. 

I have also started two mini paintings that I hope to share soon! 

I've thumbed through the other two books, which also look amazing, but haven't started any projects or done any work from them. Hopefully that will be coming soon! I highly recommend checking out these titles. :)

Finally, because this post is lacking in color, I've adding a quick journal page of a daisy. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Little of This and That

Life has been busy these past couple months! When is it not, right?  I've been working a bit here and there in the art space, but have been pulled many directions and am just now getting back to the blog. I have several project ideas I hope to share soon, but for now, a  little of this and that.

Journal page:

The butterfly below was started in March and I finally finished it! You can see how it looked before on my "Works in Progress" post. I created a similar butterfly in my "Mixed Media Madness" project. I love the stencil from Donna Downey studios!

Butterly Journal page: Molding paste + stencil, acrylic paints, inks, embossing powder....lots of supplies
to provide much texture.
Card front/booklet:

I haven't quite decided what to do with this...use it as a card or a small booklet. My cousin and I share snail mail often, so it could make a nice booklet to write a letter inside.

Created using stamps, acrylic paint and washi tape. I love the black paper with white stamping!
That's it for now, but I hope to be back soon sharing more! I hope everyone has an amazing week of creating!

Happy Paint Party Friday!!