Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Masters

Have you been board lately with your art, or your just not sure what colors to do in your art work? You need a pick me up?

Go to the masters. Pick up a book at the library, go online or maybe you have an art history book.

Find your favorite artist. Identify with that artist. Look closely why you like this particular drawing or painting. Learn and observe the line qualities, the paint strokes, which color is next to which color, what shapes make the landscape or body, is the character sad or happy, is the painting dull and dark or bright and lifelike.

Then, when you sit down at your paper or canvas, select the colors that artist used and apply those to your piece.

Recently, when I was working on a collage for a class, I really was unsure about my faces. They look out of proportion a bit, I wasn't sure about the color and the noses; feeling the noses are too big. My daughter even tells me that I draw big lips or noses. Well, I went to Gaugin's pieces, and noticed that I had a touch of him in my pieces; the colors, the style with the black outline, the dark skin tones of the women, and the bit of out of proportion of his faces. My faces are still not in proportion properly though, I am not saying Gaguin's pieces are out of proportion:) But I felt better about my piece and have a goal to keep working at.

I don't have to like every single piece I ever work on. Some of my pieces just don't sit right with me at first, and later, rub off on me. Others I just still do not like, but I am growing and learning. I don't think I ever want to be so accomplished that I build up with pride.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I have always wanted to make tassels out of embroidery thread, but this time I made one out of burlap and twine. Tassels are kind of fun, you can hang them up anywhere; a vase, a knob on a hutch, a door know, in your car window, on shades in your windows, add one to a collage or a journal.
I added tassels to my Pinterest.

Make Garland Balls

I love making stuff, like taking a styrofoam ball, and covering it with plastic holly. I had these plastic hollies for Christmas going up my staircase with greens. I was going to store them away for next year, but I thought, well I only spent $5.00 on them from the Dollar Store, so why not take them apart and glue them to the styrofoam ball and then my next purchase is a clay pot to stick the ball covered ivy in to make like a Pottery Barn decortion that costs $25-$35.00 and next year I can buy new holly for $5.00. I will show the results once I get the whole project done.

These balls are big today for decoration; place them in a bowl with all kinds of balls covered with twine, fabric, pine cones, ivy, sea shells.

Marshalls has great wooden bowls to load these balls in.

Homemade Bird's Nest

I havn't been just collaging, but making other things like paper flowers (roses), birds nests, cooking...

Paper rose

Painting Noses on Portraits

As you can see, my nose on this gal just felt too large and I have never just wiped something off of a painting like I did this day, applied a light color acrylic and gesso, and dried it with my handy dandy hair dryer, then redrew and repainted. Yes, that was even when the eyes were done, but I just needed too. The nostrils were just too wide and originally the model's nose was not that wide.

This all takes practice, so bare with me in these illustrations. If you look closely you will see differences.

Three different Collages, Three different Girls

Mystele, Kylie and Tam, I think I will call these girls after my teachers in Life Book.

Layer upon layer of papers, watercolor crayons, inks, gesso, acrylics...

If you want to know how I did them, let me know, I would love to help!

Collage Layer Upon Layer Upon Layer

I didn't like this collage when I was done, and after doing two more, I am in love with it. Don't understand myself. Love the portrait of the girl I did.

Collage Portraits Life Book

Can you believe these were done by the same artist?


One on the left is from Tam's class in Life Book, where we took a photo of a girl from a magazine and altered her face and background.

The second on the right is from Kylie's class. We did a transfer image of our face and altered it and the background. I am a southern belle here with a mole.

I am getting into doing portraits of international girls, my sista's!

I am so used to painting white skin just from habit, I love the skins of all my girlfriends. I want to do alot more!

Collage Papers

This is a small pile of collage papers I had ready for a piece I was working on in Kylie's class from Life Book

Here is a collage page I made with those very papers underneath

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Lately, as I have read about others lives on personal blogs, I have read so many cute stories of when the now adult, but then child had family members that encouraged them in their art, or how creative they were in their play days.

I was the youngest of three brothers, so in other only child. One brother moved out when I was born and the other was a young teen.

It felt like I was alone all of the time, and my parents surely didn't hold back great toys for me. So, today, I thought, I would just remember some of the toys and how I played by myself or with little friends from the neighborhood.

WHY? You may ask why am I reminiscing. I want to be ART inspired, with my own style, my own imaginations, my own colors, paint strokes...

So, I figured if I thought about some of those times, maybe they would bring about creativity.

Let me bore you...

My girlfriend Rita and I would play with her father's soap powder. He had a little room he had a sink and a dispencer for that funny smelling pink soap powder that used to be in the school's bathrooms. He also cut alot of wood so there was always sawdust. I couldn't get enough of that soap powder, water and sawdust to make this sticky goopy pink bubbly dinner to feed my dolls. My girlfriend Rita would tell me that her father was mad because we were using up all of the powdered soap. Oh, how I loved playing with that stuff, mixing it, putting it into our little plastic cups and bowls, and feeding my dolls.

My mom and dad bought me a red micky mouse phone for Christmas. It was like an old fashioned pay phone, and you would put a little record in it. When you dialed it as though you were making a phone call, the record started, and Mickey would talk to you and you would answer questions. I really felt like I was talking to someone when I held that red phone receiver. I really wonder today how big that phone was. It seemed big!

My cousin had a cardboard kitchen, with the phone and a place you could make-believe you were cooking. The only problem, he wouldn't let me in as often as I would have liked. There was something about that little kitchen/store that made me feel like I was in an actual wonderland.

Tub time was a blast. Did any of you really think you were swimming. I had the pink Mr. Bubbles (there is that pink color again), and it smelled different than it does today. I had silly foam that you would spray on the wall in the tub or make a beard out of. And I had fuzzy wuzzy, a bar of soap that after wet, it would grow fur in a few days. What a magical experience. When I was in that clawfooted tub, and the little plugged in heater was on because it was surely cold in the bathroom, I thought I was actually swimming, really swimming in a large body of water. I have never been able to get rid of that image. I do go to the beach at least once a month now, but I still have dreams of water and swimming, so it is never out of my system. I think I am a mermaid!

Penny candy, yes candy for a penny or even two for a penny. Mom and Dad would take me into a penny candy store at Cape Cod in the 1960's. My whole bag, paper bag, was filled, filled with candy, for $2.00 filled, oh my, big daddy's, hot balls, green apple, foot long bubble gum, pezz, That candy lasted me the whole weekend at the Cape and even some to take home.

My bicycle was my car. I had a blue bike, sissy bar up above my head, a water bottle attached and a white basket on the front, and little tassles hanging out of the handles. I drove everywhere with that bike, filling the basket with jacks, jump rope and chinese jumprope, chaulk, balls, dolls...then one day, I slipped on the sand that was left on the road from the bad winter and the trucks had not cleaned it up yet. We would take large brooms and make paths in the sand, and then drive our bikes in the path's or play Wizard of Oz down the path. I was driving my bike too fast, and I lived at the bottom, of a steep hill. I fell and got my first fat lip. I can't remember who, but someone helped me get home. I was only about 6 or 7 when your parents could let you ride your bike alone at that age.

Well, just a few of my thoughts. I hope I can integrate them into my art.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Stenciling and Stonewall Kitchen and Pottery Barn

I have been really intrigued lately by the stencilling on wood in various expensive shops like Stonewall Kitchen and Pottery Barn.

I would love to make something for my house in this fashion, and I have my mind thinking away. I have seen some artists online make them.

The Graphic Fairy sends me daily beautiful transfers that could be used for this purpose. Stencils with fancy alphabet letters could be used.

Water down your acrylic paint or if you are using stain, apply the stain to your brush or a rag, and wipe alot of the stain off on a paper plate so that it is very light. You can always add more if you like, but go light handed and light amount of paint or stain. Practice. Pick up samples of wood at Home depot or pick up some street side pallets. Use the wood from the pallets.

You can always antique up the wood by adding some of the very stain on the edges of the wood.

I have a machine shop that is near my home. I love driving by it because I have picked up wooden boxes that look like actual window boxes. The wood is rough and rugged. I have it in my kitchen right now filled with candles and I am looking for the ideal stencil that I want to apply to the box. I also need to think if I want to sand the box and then stencil or apply the image. MMMMM, I may want to give it a french grey paint job, sand the edges for them to be rounded and then stenciled.

I usually don't spray the outside of my work with polyurethane, but I think I will in the future just to keep my collages and wooden pieces protected.

Valentines Day and Home Made Journals

My husband and I went out for Valentines day yesterday to a restaurant in Maine, and while we were there for a great lunch, the menu's were there, free to pick up. The paper of these menu's had a very interesting surface so I grabbed about four of them. I may integrate them into another journal that I work on that is all separate, all different pages, that I am collecting and getting ready to use grommets and attach it all together.

Another place that has great brochures is Teavana, a very expensive tea store. You get to stop by and have little samples of teas and the brochures are right on the counter. I have used these for the paper and color themselves as collage papers.

Free People, a women's clothing store send me catalogues, that has the best paper and I love using it for my journals just to tear up or to gesso over.

Starbucks has the great cardboard sleeves. Cut as many as you want on the seam, gesso them on the smooth side with white gesso and dry well. Make a chunky book, and poke holes, and then atach as many pages as you like with ribbon and yarns or twines. Take a glue stick, a black Pitt pen, graphite pencil, and watercolor pencils or crayons. Now when you go out for a ride in the car, a train ride, bus ride, small vacation, you will be able to glue little bits in the book, you can color or draw and wait to paint it with water later. You can use the graphite pencil or black marker to write notes,and you are set for a very simple journal.

When you are taking day trips, keep an alert out for brochures that are folded in different ways. These are great to gesso over, and then journal and draw in. When finished with your art work, fold the brochure back the way it was originally. Wrap twine around it to keep it closed.

So keep an eye open for paper used for other purposes and use it for your journal pages. Use clear gesso or white gesso on the papers, and then go to town with your techniques.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Collage, Layering, Painting, Drawing

I just love this type of art so so much. It is intriguing, every piece you work on is different. There is so much texture, color and variance. You can work on all different types of art like making your own stamps, carving them, using them in your work, it is using pastels and then water or turp over them depending on which one you are using, it is using all sorts of inks, ink pads, acrylic inks, water color inks, permanent inks...wax-bees wax, yes bees wax melted all over your piece, encaustic wax that you can carve into and use all sorts of colors on top of each is endless

But don't let that endlessness get you caught up and daughter will not do collage with me because she said there is too much different choices.

I have an idea...if you have some images you would like to use in a collage, copy them so you have 2-3 copies. Glue the copies down on three pieces, so you have the same copy three times. Now go to town, and do different things to each image and see all the variables you get, but you can have two to three or even more if you like, right before you. Don't worry if you put a sticker on the first one but not on the second one, cut out other papers, grab a stamp and stamp it red on one page, stamp it green on another. HAVE FUN!

Painting Over Collage like Tam from Life Book

It took me some time to get my act together, and finally sit down and paint. All of my supplies were moved over the holiday's for a cleaning and now I have to bring them all back and reorganize, and that takes more energy out of me than anything. Seeing I have done it more times than I can count.

But, when I finally sat down and watched Willowing's videos over and over again, stopping them and starting them and stopping them and starting them, I just got to it. I did some layers a bit different order than Tam did, but that is ok. I know this much about collage, each layer is a layer upon itself, and it is ok, if you put one piece down in a different order.

That is what happened to me here. I had finished all of my collaging, and then clear gessoed over the entire piece, not just the face, and then realized I had not cut the piece for the girl's clothing. So I did after that. I did not add gesso the clothing, but just painted and used graphite pencil over it to give shadows.

After painting the face, I absolutely did not like the nose, so "Off with the nose" That was scary..."Would I be able to make a somewhat decent nose?" Yes, this was after I added the clothing, painted and drew on the clothing, breyered the background with white acrylic and did some stamping. The nose and the hand. Do yo know that there are some masters who could not paint hands and just tucked the hands behind the body or in the pockets. That's right, out of sight, out of mind, the hands don't always need to be seen.

In this type of artwork that is very primitive, funny looking hands are alright.

I then went to Gaugan's paintings to see his ladies. My face was still a bit off proportionately wise, but I will accomplish this as I keep up with it. Why fear what you can end up doing. If you never do it, you won't have accomplished it.

Hey, that is my own personal quote. I will have to add that to a collage.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sneek Peeks to my Collage

Working on my collage for Tam's Class at "Life Book"-----a book I will be working on all year, doing all sorts of techniques and then finishing off by binding it all together.

This collage will look nothing like it does right now. Just taking pictures so that I can remember the beginning and showing you if you are a beginner that you can do this too!

Collage and Painting

Here is the first steps of my collage for Willowing's "Life Book" Class-a year class with various artists and all sorts of methods. I love it.