Sunday, November 30, 2008

“Marie Antoinette…A Real Person…A Real Award”

Oh my goodness, I've been given another blog award. This is my third award, and I feel the same way I did when I received my first one.....honored, thrilled, appreciative, and humbled. It always means a lot to me to receive an award for my art and my blog, no matter how many times it might happen. This award was given to me by Nancy at Never Enough ATC’s — More than enough Grace blog. Thank you so very much Nancy, for thinking of me and giving me this award. I certainly treasure it and greatly appreciate it. I am so glad that we are online art buddies. To link to Nancy's blog, and see her beautiful and creative ATCs and very interesting blog, just click on her name.

Now I am to pass on this award to seven other deserving artists. It's always hard to narrow it down, but these are my seven choices. Click on their names to link to their blogs. Please go to view their beautiful art and enjoy their interesting blogs.  

The people I chose here are supposed to post the award on their blogs, link to the person who awarded it to them, and then pass it on to seven other bloggers, and link to them.  Also, email or leave a comment on their blogs regarding the award.  Congratulations, all you fine artists.  Now it's time for some recognition for all of YOU!!!

Zeborah -- who creates beautiful art, especially her abstract work

Gravitee at Sense Engaged -- who creates amazing digital art

Trish at Artistic Journey -- who does wonderful sketching and encaustic work

Pat at Artrix -- who has a fun and interesting blog and much beautiful, unique art

Christy Grant at Art Chickadee's Reflections -- who is an amazing artist and you can learn a lot from her blog

Mary Schweitzer at Green Woman Creating -- who has stunning and innovative art on her blog

Rachel Murphree at Art Spirals -- who creates very unique and beautiful fabric/fiber art

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I've been tagged -- again.

Yes, Elizabeth Golden at The Last Door Down the Hall tagged me a while back, and I'm just getting around to following through on it.  Thank you so much for thinking of me Elizabeth, and for the really sweet thing you wrote about me on your blog.  I appreciate it so much.  Click on Elizabeth's name to link to her very interesting blog and beautiful art.

On the one hand, it's fun, and an honor, to get tagged.  On the other hand, it's rather time consuming to follow through on it.  So I changed the rules a little to make it easier and less time consuming.  Instead of writing six things about myself, I write three.  And instead of tagging six other bloggers, I tag three.  So here are three things about me.

1.  I am very short.  I didn't even make it to 5 feet tall.  Nooo, I stopped growing at 4'10"!  Well, I didn't stand much of a chance, because both of my parents were short also.  At any rate, I've always wished I could be taller, as in around 5'4" tall.  That would be so fine with me.  I dislike always having to hem my pants, and sometimes my sleeves, and stand on my tip toes to reach things.  And I'm not getting any taller with age, in fact, I'm shrinking.

2.  I've always had an interest in learning how to draw, something I've never persued.  I can't draw worth a darn.  I've checked out some drawing classes offered through our county, but have yet to sign up for any.  Perhaps sometime I will.  

3.  I started watching the Food Network channel on TV a few months ago.  It wasn't planned, I was just channel surfing.  And I found I liked some of the programs.  I think my favorite program is Iron Chef America, and then Bobby Flay's Throwdown.  The problem with watching these programs though is that they make me hungry.  Go figure!

Here are the three bloggers I am tagging.  Just click on their names to link to their blogs.  They have blogs well worth visiting, and I encourage you to take a look at their wonderful art.

Sanna at Sanna'sArtMind

Dove at Morning Dew

Julee at HeArt Collective

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shapes collage

This is a new piece I started last Saturday.  However, I wasn't liking it that much and it didn't feel done to me, so I set it aside for a few days.  Then I came home from work on Wednesday and decided what I needed to do to finish it.  I was happy to be working on art in the evening after work, because I haven't done that in a long, long time.  Most days, when I get home from work, I'm so tired I don't feel like doing much of anything.  Perhaps some of you can relate that?

After I added the shapes to this piece, I found I liked it much better.  This collage was done on an 8x10 piece of chipboard.  Normally I use frozen pizza cardboard for most of my bases, but with this being a larger collage, I wanted a sturdier base that wouldn't warp.  First I punched out various shapes out of junk mail cardboard -- the ads that aren't in envelopes, and glued those down on the base.  (I started out with a different idea of where this piece would go, and soon enough, realized it wasn't looking that way at all.  Does that ever happen to you?)  I was going to cover the shapes with a piece of crumpled tissue paper, but instead used a piece of scorched paper made with copy paper.

I made some pieces of scorched paper a long time ago, and never used them.  So I decided to use one on this piece.  Scorched paper is easy to make.  You just take regular copy paper and scorch it with a vintage iron.  This piece was crumpled and then scorched for more texture, but you can scorch uncrumpled paper also.  I use a vintage iron because it gets much hotter than the irons made today, and it's necessary to use a very hot iron to get the scorching and brown color.  I found my vintage iron at a yard sale for $2.00.  Lucky me!

After I glued down the scorched paper with matte Mod Podge, I then tore up a napkin and glued down parts of that, and also torn music paper.  Then I stamped on the scrolls, birds, and text.  Then I rubbed brown shoe polish (the kind in the round tin) all over the piece.  I wanted even more texture, so I brushed on gel medium thickly in random directions.  After that dried, I rubbed more brown shoe polish over the whole piece.  At that point, I set it aside for a few days.

Then I came back to it and finished it, by adding the shapes, the heart, and the key.  For the shapes I punched them out of paint chips.  The green shapes were distressed by sanding and using an awl and a dress pattern tool, then rubbed with brown shoes polish.  I really like the look distressed paint chips give.  I outlined the shapes with a paint pen and a black Sharpie.

You can't tell in the scan, but with the real piece the outlines of the shapes glued down first, under the paper, show up in a sublte way if the light shines on it right.  Anyway, the steps used in making this piece were simple ones.  I was happy to do stamping on this, because so often, I forget to make use of my stamps.  And I have far too many neat stamps that I have yet to use even once.  Isn't that crazy?  Unfortunately I tend to collect them more than actually use them.

So all in all, I'm happy with how this turned out.  And for the most part, I enjoyed making it and it wasn't a struggle.  I think setting it aside and coming back to it later was helpful and the right thing to do.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

I am grateful

Yes indeed, I am.  It's 12:30 am, and I'm still up and on my computer.  Well, thankfully it's Friday night, and I have the next two days off, and don't have to get up early tomorrow to go to work.  Although I tend to wake up early anyway, whether I want to or not, due to my work schedule and biological clock.  But that' okay, at least I have tomorrow off, which is such a relief.  TGIF I say!

I am so grateful for all of my online art buddies out there, for all of YOU, who visit my blog and leave comments, and who also have art blogs.  You all mean so much to me, you really do, more than I can adequately express.  Tonight, I was scrolling through my blog, and rereading all the comments left on my blog.  I do that occasionally, now and then, to remind myself of how lucky I am to have those of you who visit my blog and leave comments.  To have your feedback and support and encouragement.  Wow, it always has amazed me, and still does.  And it always does my heart good, and renews me and refreshes me, to go back and read your comments.

I love my blog, and am so glad I finally decided to jump into blogland last February 10th, 2008.I had been vaguely thinking of doing that for some time, before I finally got proactive and just did it.  And I'm glad I did, and don't regret it at all, but I must also say I feel it's a responsibility.  That sometimes weighs heavy on me, when I'm struggling with my art, or with my life in general.  As I'm sure all of you can relate to, when you have a public blog, it's all out there for anyone to see.  I mean there's no privacy with a public blog.

Consequently, I only share myself to a certain extent, because it's more than a bit scary to share more deeply on a public blog.  At times, I might be tempted to share more, but I mostly pull back from that, fearful of exposing myself too much and of being vulnerable.  I wish I could be braver about sharing my true self, and have more courage to do that, but it's a difficult thing for me.  Then again, I think being or feeling vulnerable, open, exposed, is difficult for most people, don't you?  I think that's a pretty common human reaction.  Afterall, one definition of "vulnerable" in the dictionary is: capable of being wounded.  And no one wants to be wounded, right?

I have to confess and admit that this year, 2008, has been a rough year for me.  A number of things, unexpected and unwanted things, have happened, that have thrown me off course in a number of ways.  I have often felt somewhat lost and discombobulated due to those things happening in my life.  Well hey, that's life, it's never safe or predictable, and all we can do, the best thing we can do, is take it one day at a time.  I rely on God, my faith in Him, to see me through.  To hold me in his hand, and heart, so to speak.  

My art means so much to me, is so important to me.  I'm not even sure why, I just know it is.  I believe God gives each of us certain gifts, and that art is one of my gifts.  I didn't ask for this gift or do anything to deserve it.  And he gave the same gift to all of you, so I think you understand what I mean about that.  And so, I feel compelled to use my gift and appreciate my gift, which doesn't always come easily.  Sometimes it involves pain and angst, frustration, dry times.

But I thank God for the internet, and for our online art community, because it's a huge part of my art experience.  I feel I wouldn't be the artist I am today without the net, and the art community I belong to in my yahoo groups.  I also thank God for blogs, and for the opportunity to have my own blog, and for all the blogs out there I can visit and be inspired by.  We are all in this art journey together, are we not?  Yes, I think so.  And I am so grateful for that, and for all of you who visit my blog, and leave comments, and encourage me and hold me up when I'm faltering.

I just felt the need to make this post tonight, and share these thoughts and feelings.  Thank you all, for being a part of my art experience.  I truly appreciate it, and it means so much to me.  I often think it would be so wonderful for all of us to meet in person, and have a huge, happy party!  That would be a great party indeed.  I love you all.  Thank you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Art with a Vengeance

Oh my, did I really title this piece that? It sounds kind of dark and forboding. Yes I did, and for good reason, to my way of thinking. I fully think this is NOT one of my best artworks. But that doesn't matter to me, that's okay. What mattered, when I created this piece yesterday, was my frame of mind and the weird mode I was in. Because I really didn't care how this piece turned out, I was just desperate to make some art, compelled and obsessed with making some art. I had to, I needed to.

The frame of mind I was in was FRUSTRATION!!! At a number of things. Being in a major art slump, things going on in my life right now, and things going on in the world and my life in general. I was hot under the collar, and needed to make some art, and didn't really care how it turned out or even if I liked it. I suppose in a way, that's a certain amount of "artistic freedom", I'm not sure. I've never really felt compelled to convey a message in my art, but lately that seems to be the case, whether I like it or not.

I have to confess when I worked on this piece, I felt like I was in a frenzy. I pulled out a bag of scrap pieces I've been saving, most cut off the edges of my art. I just dipped into the bag, and pulled out various pieces, helter skelter and randomly. And madly (crazily) started gluing them down on this piece of frozen pizza cardboard, 5x7 inches in dimension. Well, first of all, I glued down a few pieces crumpled/uncrumpled yellow tissue paper, with matte Modge Podge. Then I rubbed over it with brown paste shoe polish. Then I madly started gluing down the scrap pieces with gel medium. Then painted over them with gel medium, or rather glopped it on thickly.

After it dried, I rubbed over it again with brown shoe polish. Then I used my finger to rub over it, on certain parts, with gold metallic glaze. Then I wrote the words on it with a gold metallic paint pen. But that didn't show up very well, so I wrote over them with a black permanent ink Sharpy. Then I sealed it with Acrylic Floor Finish, and flicked gold Pearl Ex over it while it was still wet from the AFF. The last thing I did was glue on the very cool old, vintage key, obtained from ebay.

Up close, the words on this piece are easily readable. But in the scan they aren't, and yet they are important to this piece. From top to bottom, the words read: Get it done! , Passion, ART, Fever, Do it. I added those quickly, based on my frame of mind at the time. I didn't stop to think about them, I just wrote what I was feeling. I really wish they showed up better in the scan, but they don't.

I don't think I've ever made art this way before, regarding how I felt and the frenzy I was in when I made it. And I'm wondering, is that good or bad? I mean like....making art is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, right? But in making this piece, I can't say I enjoyed it. It felt good, but not in the sense of enjoyment. I guess mostly in the sense of "glopping" it all together, with a "devil may care" attitude. Kind of like....take this, and take this, and oh yeah, here's some more"! It felt like a way to release tension and frustration, get it out on the table, and then heave a sigh of relief.

Wow, even as I'm writing this post, I'm not sure I want to actually post it. But I know I will anyway, and hope for the best. Hope that my artist buddies out there who read it can relate in some way. I love my online artist buddies, I really, really do. You all mean so much to me. I so, so appreciate the people who visit my blog, and leave comments, and connect with me regarding art. I LOVE YOU ALL!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New art I just finished

Yes, I actually got off the computer, and made art today. In like about two hours, this is what I created. I used colors that I like together, burgundy/wine and yellow/orange. These are some of my favorite color combos -- I just love them together. And believe me, I have no knowledge of how to use colors together, I barely know how to read or understand the color wheel, even though at times I've tried to study it and learn it. But I didn't get very far in that persuit. I really don't know much about color, or how to use colors together....and sometimes that bothers me and intimidates me. On the other hand, I mostly just use color combos, colors together, that appeal to me and that I like personally. And in the overall picture, I think that works out well enough.

As in often the case with me, when I sit down to do art, I don't have much of an idea of what I want to create. There are times that does happen, and it pleases me, and I go with it, but it's not something I can expect or depend on. I truly wish that was more often the case, where I knew what I wanted to create and had a plan, and then executed it....but no, that only seems to happen now and then and randomly. Then again, on the other hand, I feel some of my best art is pulled out of a hat, spontaneously, and not planned at all.

I have to say, most of the time when I create art, I fly by the seat of my pants! That is usually the way it goes for me. I'm not even sure I should admit sounds rather "unartistic". I have to admit, I've been in a strange and unwanted state lately, regarding my art. And I haven't done much art at all in the past two months.

Well, it is what it is, and as I've often said here on my blog, I'm always happy when I get new art done, and can post it on my blog. The thing about having a blog is that if I hit a dry period artwise, and have no new art to post, it's not just a private matter between me and my muse. It used to be that way, before I started my blog. But now that I have my blog, and other people visit it, if I don't create new art, or post, over a period of time, others know it, and it isn't just between me and my muse. And yes, I find myself feeling guilty about that and bad about that. It's a bit hard to admit that, and yet it's true. So, is it just me, or do other artists feel the same way?

Geez, I'm not sure if I should write about all this on my blog. I feel the need to, but then again, it's kind of scary to put it out there on my blog, for all to see. Yes, I do consider myself an artist, but then there are times when I feel like I must be an imposter, and fooling myself as well as other people. Well, please forgive me, I'm just in a weird, crazy state of mind right now, and have been for a while.

So, I'll get on with explaining how I made this piece. The base is frozen pizza cardboard, my usual with most pieces. First I glued down, with matte Mod Podge, a piece of grid fabric. Then I crumpled up, then uncrumpled, then glued down with MP fuschia and yellow tissue paper. Then I rubbed over it with brown shoe polish. Then I distressed a piece of yellow paint sample, by sanding it, then scoring it with an awl, then rolling over it with a dress pattern tool, then rubbing over it with brown shoe polish. I must admit, I really, really got into distressing the paint sample, to the point where I was taking out my frustrations on it!

After I got it all distressed, I punched out the various shapes with paper punches. Before I glued them down, I used paint on swirl stamps to stamp the piece, then glued down the shapes. Then wrote on them with permanent brown marker. Then glued down the very cool old key, which I got off ebay in a key lot. Then I used a metallic gold paint pen to mark the edges of the piece, and the edges of the shapes. Soooo, that's how this piece was made.

I don't often use text in my art, so I must've felt like I had something to say here. Probably because I've felt "distressed" and stressed lately. I find that interesting, that I chose to do that. Kind of like it came out of nowhere, for me to convey an actual message in this piece of art. I seldom convey, or try to convey, messages in my art. I must've felt, or my muse felt, that I had to convey this message. I think mostly for myself.