Sunday, July 14, 2019

Journal Pages

It's been a busy week around here! Between wrapping up some home projects (painting and scraping the popcorn ceiling) we've been trying to also do some decluttering and organizing. Currently the house is a giant mess. So today, it's time to take a break from the projects and other tasks and hang out for a bit in the art room.

I have several ongoing paintings that are in various stages of completion. I'm going to work on bit on those this afternoon, but wanted to share two final lessons from the Sketchbook Revival classes in May.

The lesson below was titled, Faces Made Simple: Mixed Media Girl by Toni Burt. Toni demonstrated holding a pencil very loosely to shade in facial features. Doing so leaves behind a hint of a face on the page, to which we later added layers of shading with watercolor and some darker pencil shading. Along the way, a few collage elements were also added. It's very simplistic, but I love the way the final page looks.

Mixed Media Girl on Watercolor Paper

The other lesson I completed was Sidewalk Cracks: A Creativity Starter with Carla Sonheim. I mentioned this class in the last post, Sketchbook Revival 2019. This is the quirky creature (bird??) that was created in the class. I added the torn papers element in Photoshop Express. I thought it gave a fun twist to a simple page! I think this creativity starter is a great way to warm up and get in the groove for creating more art, and of course interesting creatures too.

Sidewalk Cracks Creature

Both classes and teachers were amazing. I'm already looking forward to participating next year!

Next week I'm hoping to finish up some of the artwork that was inspired by our trip to San Diego last month. We are already wishing we could return to the cooler air as it is SO HOT here now! Temperatures this week are predicted to be 100+ degrees (insert sweaty person emoji here, lol). 

Stay cool, have a great week and HAPPY PPF!!!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sketchbook Revival 2019

The Sketchbook Revival classes came at just the right time for me. I was desperately needing some motivation to get back into the creative groove, when I received an e-mail announcing the event from Karen Abend. It was the first time that I have participated in this online event and it was absolutely wonderful! I didn't have time to complete all of the classes, so when time allowed I selected various ones to watch. One of the classes, How to Draw a Bird in Five Easy Steps, was so much fun. It was taught by Julia Bausenhardt. She has some amazing nature journaling classes that I'd love to enroll in one of these days.

During the Sketchbook Revival session, Julia taught us how to sketch a Blue tit bird and watercolor it. I haven't sketched birds much, but found her teaching style was very easy to follow and ended up creating a cute little bird in my sketchbook!

After the session was over, I went back and looked at my sketchbook page and decided to create a version for my dad for Father's Day. Once completed, I placed it inside a little hand made paper frame. He loved it!

Original Blue tit bird with handmade frame box. 

Since then, I've gone back and played with the framing options in Photoshop Express. I think both of the frames below give it a really nice look as well.

Photoshop Redwood Frame

Photoshop Multi-Colored Frame
Besides this class, I also completed the Sidewalk Cracks lesson with Carla Sonheim. It was also fun and such a creative idea! I definitely don't look at all those cracks in the sidewalk/street the same now. I'm always telling my husband that I need to take my camera along with me on our evening walks! If only I could remember that when we are heading out the door. ha! Once I have a few of these completed I will share them, along with the other fun things that came out of this event. 

Both artists have amazing websites and classes to offer! It's definitely worth a stopping by and checking out their sites. 

Hope you all are having a great weekend!  Happy PPF...just a few days late. ;P

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Being Away, Coming Back and ART!

So, I actually started this post at the end of March. As you can tell, I just never made it back to finishing it! I have a lot to share, but will go ahead and start with this post and what I originally had started several months ago, as well as finishing what I had intended to post....

(March post)

Hey everyone! I hope that all is well with each of you and that you are enjoying some beautiful weather in your piece of the world. It's been absolutely perfect here lately. I've enjoyed sitting out back listening to the birds and feeling the nice breeze this afternoon. (I miss this weather as it is now steamy, humid and so hot!)

I've recently got back into an art groove.  I've been away a bit, spending the most time I could with our sweet beagle boy. He was diagnosed last fall with a heart tumor and did really well until about two weeks ago. We said our goodbyes and since have missed him so very, very much. He will always have a special place in our hearts. We were thankful to have been blessed with him for just over fourteen years. He was an amazing dog, as was our girl, who we lost two years previous to cancer. They were both my little art buddies and it's hard sometimes to get back in the art space without missing them being there. Below are a few of my favorite photos of him. I especially love the one from behind when he is going on one of his many car adventures.

My precious beagle boy, Dylan. xoxoxoxox

Later this summer, I'll add some things to the memory garden I started for Abbey, our girl. It's a good way for me to remember the blessings they were in my life. I also love looking at it from my art room window. Below is a photo of what it looked like last year.

Last year's photo of the memory garden. 

Now...on to some art things that I have been doing the last couple months.

The final painting in the Fawn and Forest series by Micki Wilde is complete! It's an adorable little fawn and I loved every minute of creating it.

Fawn and Forest Final Lesson

The complete Fawn and Forest series

Since finishing this, I have also done some art journaling, started a new painting and continued on some works in progress. I have several things to share and am looking forward to doing so over the next few weeks.

I hope all of you are well! I have missed reading your blogs and am excited to go check out what each of you have been up to these past several months. Hope everyone has a great week and Happy Paint Party Friday!

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!