Sunday, January 31, 2010


That's what Mixed Media Monday  wants to know this week, and that's what all of these people want to know--

That's what they're saying to each other, BUT what they're  THINKING  is--there's something about her, with her fun and carefree spirit, and her self-condifence of expressing herself.   And oh yeah, I'd be one of those whispering ladies here, but secretly I'd  be envious of her knowing herself so well, and doing what makes her happy.  A couple of weeks ago I made an art piece that you can see here, and in it, I used an old postcard that I had.  And on the back was a message written from Clara to her friend Olga.  So after looking at  this piece--I think that the lady with the spiffy outfit must be Clara,

 and her friend Olga is in the bottom right-hand corner.
Olga doesn't seem too  pleased with Clara right now, does she?   So, I decided to name this piece "Clara".

Clara's outfit was designed by the house of Itkupilli, and all of the other gossiping, snickering, jealous people came from vintage magazines dating back to the  40's and 50's.  When I was looking through the magazines, I loved the different advertisements I ran across, like this one:

She has a strict budget of $25.00 a month for groceries--I think she can do it.  Or how about this one:

How about a brand new car for $645.00!  But my favorite one has to be this:

"Smoke a LUCKY to feel your LEVEL best"  Wow, it was a whole different world back then!  When I saw what the theme was for this week, I was a little stumped.  I almost didn't do it, but these are challenges, so I challenged myself to do it, and I'm glad that I did--I had fun!

And wanted to show you this, in keeping with this week's theme.  WHAT WAS I THINKING when I made this VERY VERY fattening, high in cholesterol, delicious, 3 cheese macaroni and cheese dinner?

I was thinking, "I can't wait for dinner!"

Yep, I ate all that up, PLUS I had seconds!

And finally one more photo that I'd like to share with you.  This is me when I was in my 30's, and of course, there's that question again--

WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?!--with my big hair (that I was so proud of), and those high-wasted , balloon pleated  pants that accentuated my "tiny" hips so well--JUST LOVELY!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Finished Suzi Face, and A Heart For Haiti

I actually created a Suzi face complete with collage and embellishments--

This was done on a piece of wood, and I think I like it.  I've been fooling around with it so much that I'm not getting an objective view anymore.  You know what I mean--when you keep working on a piece, and you can't tell  if your satisfied with it or not?  This time, after I sketched the face, I put clear gesso down before I used the Prisma pencils, and I love the way they look over the gesso.  The gesso gives it a gritty texture, so the pencils aren't really smooth over the surface, which I really like.  I'm getting a little more comfortable with the pencils--you have to use a light touch to get those layers of colors.  And I liked the collaging afterwards--using all that girly stuff--I felt like I was 10 years old again.  It's hard to know when to stop.  Overall , I'm happy with it, and I hope in 6 months time that I won't be, because that means  I will be that much better.

I decided to name her Lisa,  because I'm giving it to my daughter Lisa : )  I hope she likes it!

And look at this guys--

This is the first 2 pages of my new art journal!  I know it doesn't look like much, but it's a start.  Everybody says--just get color down on the blank page--so that's what I did. I don't know  how it will end up, but I'll show you when I'm done.  It's fun just putting down any old color with no purpose--again, like being 10 years old !!  And I will never be out of inspiration either. Milliande and Mystele on utube have been showing art journal techniques all this month.  Just click on their names, and it will go to their utube channel.  Milliande has been having a journal prompt daily during this entire  month!  They are just 2 of the many talented and generous artists that share their  art journaling on utube.  All you have to do is put a search in for art journaling, and you'll be on the computer all day long.

And I also wanted to mention the new project that Kathy at Amusing Muses  has started for the Haiti recovery efforts.  She's starting an auction in June and is asking everyone's help by donating an art piece.  She explains it all on her blog--what a great way to help out.  If everyone donated just one piece of art--think how much  this would add up to!!  I can't even imagine how it would be trying to go on in this kind of devastation.  And the next time I complain about my computer giving me problems or the gloomy weather, I'll be happy to know that's all I have to complain about.  You can click on her name or the banner on my sidebar for more info, and SPREAD THE WORD!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One Of My Favorite Quotes

The theme this week at The Three Muses is to use one of your favorite quotes in your art work and here is mine:

This was done on a gallery wrapped canvas, and it measures about 8 x 17, so I'll show you a couple close ups.  Here's  where I put the quote--

The quote is a Chinese  Proverb, and it's "A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song"

I love using birds, like alot of artists, in my artwork. To me, they represent freedom to go anywhere, and to just sing just for the sake of singing.  They also  represent a sign of renewal.  The first sign of Spring for us is to see a Robin. I love birds.  I'm not a bird expert or watcher--I just love birds.  Right now, it's so cold and  QUIET, but in the warmer seasons I just love waking up to the chirping of all the birds.

And this was one of those pieces where everything came into place.  I just sat back and listened to her (my muse--still don't know her name). I found this sheet music in a children's book I had which was perfect for what I  was looking for:

"The Birdies' Ball"--how cute!

Then I used this scrapbook paper for the border--

The flowers in it went so well with the birds, so I just cut some out and collaged them onto the canvas  to mix in.

I usually don't paint these colors--the baby blues and pinks, and I wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but when I was finished--I love it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Games People Play

That's the theme this week over at Mixed Media Monday.  So you've heard the familiar phrase "house of cards"--well for this art challenge, I created a kindgom of cards--

This is where the King and Queen of Hearts live--click on the photo for a closer view.

This is the King's place, and

here is the Queen's--that must be their son Prince Jack up on the second floor.  Also, you'll notice that what's growing there are Club, Heart, Spade, and Diamond flowers, and the trees are Spade trees.

Growing up, that was what my brothers and I did for entertainment--we played alot of cards.  When we were young, our favorite card game was War.  Does anyone remember that game?  It's basically a never ending game--we would play with a double deck and we'd play that same game for days.  And then as we got older, our favorite was Pinochle--we loved  that game.  As much as I love now and modern technology--I still like the "olden" days before Play Station 3 and computers.  I don't think my kids growing up ever even heard of the word Pinochle.

When I started out with this piece, I knew that I was going to make the houses out of the deck of cards that I had.  I loved the round playing deck that I used for the trees.  I like putting houses in my artwork,  but I didn't know how they would turn out.  I made the houses, and then my muse just took over and they came to life.  When I finished, I looked at it  and realized that it was the King and Queen's kingdom!

 And when I'm in my art room, I talk to myself ALOT.  What scares me though, is that I tend to have a conversation with myself.  But I had an "aha" moment.  I was at Sharon's site --All Norah's Art--the class doesn't start until Feb. 5, but the site is open now. Well anyway Sharon (she's a cool lady :) was telling us that she talks to herself  also, and sometimes things just come out of her, and she told us that it's her muse, Norah talking to her.  How cool is that?   Her muse has a name.  And then that's when I realized--there's nothing wrong with me--it's MY MUSE talking back to me!!  Thanks Sharon, for giving me that insight--I feel better now.  Sometimes my muse (I don't know her name....yet) can be a bit irritating, but I always listen to her, because she's usually right.

I also wanted to tell you that I went to our mall a couple of days ago to get some things, and of course I had to stop in at Michaels and Borders to treat myself to a latte (my drink of choice).    And when I was there, I picked up the latest issue of this--

I haven't had a chance to even open it yet, but I'm looking forward to it.  The main reason is that I am loving all of these beautiful journal pages that I'm finding on alot of your blogs.  I really want to start an art journal.  My first step was starting this blog, but I want to start a real life one.( well I actually kind of started one with my upside down Suzi faces)  I found Jo Reimer's blog One a Day, and on it she encourages everyone to keep a journal, whether it's art or just writing--just basically to record your life.  She tells of her mother and father being married during the Depression and the tough times that fell on them, and she wished that they would have kept  some kind of journal--anything just to know how they felt   during this time of their life.  And don't you wish that you could read things from your relatives that are no longer with you --even if it were just beautiful artwork in a beautiful journal. After I read her post, I felt guilty for not recording anything of what I do.

And also on her blog, she had a very  interesting  utube video of a man who discusses his journaling, and you guessed it--I'm putting up another VERY interesting video for you to enjoy (Thanks Jo)--I LOVED this video!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My New Class, Suzi Face With Color, and Some Other Stuff

Okay, this might be a little long again, so I'll get right to it.  First of all , I'm very excited about my new class that I signed up for, which starts. on Feb. 5.  It's Sharon Tomlinson's--her blog is  All Norah's Art, and  she explains all about it there. I met Sharon when I was in Mystele's class last fall.  I love her style, and her faces, and yes it's another face class.  I want to learn both from her and Suzi at the same time, so I can combine what I learn and come up with my 'own' faces. 

And speaking of Suzi, I drew some more faces, and this time I put them in my brand new Moleskine journal that I bought  for the class.   And I added color with the Prismacolor pencils--

Now, just like the graphite pencils, I had to start at the beginning again with the colored pencils.  I've used them in my artwork before, but very little, and they were never the main element of the piece.  This time they are, so I had to learn how to use them.  I'm  getting more comfortable with them, but I'm still learning.  I like these pencils, and I know I'm going to want to try different colors other than what Suzi uses.  Right now, I'm basically using the colors that she suggests  .  And I was a little nervous about  "messing" up my brand new journal, but for my first time, I'm happy with them. The pages in this journal are great.  I used heavy acrylic paint on the redhead, and the paper didn't buckle at all--I love the texture also.  So this morning when I went to close the journal, I noticed one thing--it was upside down--of course, what else.  So now my first 2 page spread will be upside down, but that's okay--it's my journal--I meant to do that!

And also, I've been fooling around again with my scrapbook papers  that I made for this collage--

I found this 5 x7 framed Warren Kimble print  (where else) at a garage sale.  I originally bought it for the frame:

But I decided that I would use the whole piece and alter it.  I liked the cat, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't keep it in the art piece because of copyright issues, so I just made my own cat image, and collaged over it--

I like doing this-- recycling my art.

Okay, and then there was one other thing.  Since I've "mastered" the technique of putting utube videos up on my blog--I had to put another one on for you to watch.  And this one is worth the 2 minutes and 17 seconds to view.  This is from 1981.    If  you own a computer, you will like it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Love Is In The Air

What else could be in the air with Valentine's Day coming up.  That is  the theme this week at The Three Muses--Something in the Air, and as soon as I saw that, that's what came to mind. 

So I started looking through my 'stuff' for an image, and I just wasn't satisfied.  And in the meantime, I've been cleaning out my art room (it's getting painted this weekend!), and I found this vintage postcard that I don't even remember getting.

I love these old postcards--I have them everywhere--I really need to get more organized.  What I like even better is when they have writing on the back, which this one did:

Do you see the postmark on there--it's dated Nov., 1911--that's almost 99 years old!  Do you believe that--I just get so excited when I'm holding  something that old.  Someone purchased this postcard 99 years ago, bought their 1 cent stamp, and mailed it off.  In this case, it was Clara sending it to her friend Olga.  She starts out the message by saying   "Dear Friend"--isn't that so cute--"Dear Friend"?  Nowadays, you're greeting will be Hi or Hey, or sometimes we don't even put a greeting in and just start writing our message, or should I say typing.  This is why I loved that era--they were just so ......proper? refined?--I don't know what the word is, but they were just SO....

And I think that Clara would be tickled pink if she knew that we were discussing her postcard and message on the internet, and better yet I was using it for a piece of art.  But first we'd have to explain what the word internet meant, and then I'm sure she would be very excited.

I started out with a plain wood shadowbox (50 cents at a garage sale), and collaged copies of handwritten letters on it, and then over that I collaged scrapbook paper with hearts punched out.  I forgot about taking a picture until midway, but you'll get the idea--

And then I made 5 copies of the postcard, and cut them into pieces, so I could layer them on top of each other to get a dimensional look--

And then I just finished embellishing.  The dimensional look of the piece doesn't show up very well in the photo, but it's pretty cool looking in person.  I like this time of year, when nothing much is going on, and I can fool around like this--it's alot easier just to put the one image down, and be done.  But starting in Spring, I start with the art fairs, and I don't have as much time.  Yes I really do go out and talk to real people, and I enjoy it, but I also like all of you computer people too!  So, until later, dear friends : )

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wings and Imagination

Wings is the the theme this week at Mixed Media Monday,  and a couple of weeks ago, I made my
garden angel. so this week for the challenge I made my butterfly angels--

 The butterflies are Dover images and I used my favorite garden book for the background again--

And when I was making this, I knew that I wanted to add text or a quote.  I don't really have a way with words, so I just went to Google and found this quote:

"Imagination will take you everywhere" 
The actual quote is "Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere."

I found it here:

Now, I'm really proud of this.  I was never able to figure out how to get the actual utube video up on my post--I'm still in computer grade school.  So with a little help from my son, Nick, via email, I did it.  My son is a college professor, you know (Dr. Salter), and he's been teaching me computer skills since I started my blog, but he'll only tell me how to start things  and then let me figure out the rest by myself.  Look Nick, I did it!

This video has really great quotes in it, that I know alot of artists like to use in their art, and also there are some amazing butterfly photos in it, or if you just want to be a little motivated, it's nice to watch.  Okay, if anything, at least put it in your favorites (after all this trouble I went through  to figure it out). There really are some wonderful quotes on here.  And I want to give credit to the utube artist Elaine Gilbert for putting this together.

Isn't the internet wonderful?  It has become such a useful tool for artists.  I can't even count all the techniques I've learned, and look, I'm taking a class that I've always wanted to take.  I really don't think there's a local Goddess and Poet class in my town. I think one of the best parts about it, is just interacting with other artists all over the world.  If I have a question or need help, I always know where I can go.  What was it like for artists when there was no internet I wonder? 

And in December, I bought myself a laptop for an early Christmas present.  The main reason was, so that I could have it up in my art room, because I knew that I was going to take a class, and it would be much more convenient for me.  But it's really become one of my art supplies that I can't do without--for instance when I wanted to find a quote.  She's become like my little art assistant. I call it a she, because there are days when she's a bit moody, and there are days when she can be a downright  ITCH with a B, but most of the time we get along very well and I've become very dependent on my little Dell.  And after reading what I just wrote, I  think that I'm spending WAY, WAY  too much time in this house and I think I need to get out more : )

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Something New Again, My New Suzi Face, and Some Exciting News About Bob!

Okay this may take a while, so grab a cup of......whatever you're drinking.  I wanted to first show you the companion piece for the sunflower I made--

My husband didn't think I was finished with it, because he didn't know what it was--which I kind of liked--it made me feel like an "artiste" (it's birds, BTW).  So now I have 3 pieces in my little series:


I'm very happy with all 3 of these--even thebirds

And the something new I wanted to share with you all--well, it's not really new, but it's new for me.  I still had alot of the handpainted paper scraps from all of these pieces, so I arranged them on my scanner bed to make pages--

And then I made copies of the bigger sunflower piece and reduced the size, and cut out the vase and flowers, and put that in my scanner with my new scrapbook paper--

I still like using just pieces of paper for collaging, because of the texture that you get, but when you want one of a kind scrapbook papers, this is a good way to do it.  And you can do it with anything, as long as it fits in your scanner--you just have to experiement and have a little PATIENCE (aka: my word for the year)

I used some of the papers to line an old sewing machine table drawer for a collage assemblage  that I want to put together--

And then, I wanted to show you my new Suzi face, because I'm very happy with it, and I'll tell you why:

When I sketched this face this morning, I just sat down not even intending on doing this at all--I didn't have my ruler, or my pdf sheet, and no Suzi video was going--I just started sketching.  I don't know if the dimensions or shading are right, and I don't care, because I like it.  What I like most about it, was that I just did it--I didn't feel like I was figuring out some math problem--it was more natural to me. Suzi tells us that
our  hands/fingers will remember with practice, and she's right.  The 2 main things that I wanted to learn from this class was how to make pretty soulful faces and to do it naturally.  And now I think that I might just be able to do that.  Next step--adding color : o

And now my exciting news about Bob!!

He got his license!!  They grow up so fast : (

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


This week over at The Three Muses the theme is water.  As soon as I saw that this was the challenge, the first thing that came to mind was of course summer and the beach--one of our favorite places to go to when our kids were small.  So last week I was thinking Spring--now I'm thinking Summer--can you tell that I'm getting cabin fever!  Here's what I came up with this week--

I started out with this craft box

I love taking these plain wood craft boxes, or any old box like cigar, jewelry, recipe ,and so on, and altering them. One of my favorite boxes that I made last year was this one--

For the top of this one, I started out with plain glass 1" tiles, and then I collaged papers onto them, and then I  applied Crystal Laquer to them.  Crystal Laquer is like resin--when it dries, it gives a 3D effect, and it's very glossy--so the tiles on the box ended up looking like glass tiles. The photo doesn't show it very well, but in person, it was very cool looking.  Crystal Laquer is like Diamond Glaze, but I like it a little better, because you don't get the tiny bubbles like you do when you use the Diamond Glaze.

 Usually when I'm faced with a blank canvas or any blank surface, I myself turn blank, and I struggle with it.  But not with the boxes--for some reason, I like these "blank canvases".  I'll never know how they will turn out, but they always seem to come together very easily for me.  On the beach box, I used digital images from Luna Girl.  Don't you just love modern technology--with a couple clicks of your mouse, the images are right there at your fingertips.  The  mouse I knew about 20 years ago was the kind that made me scream.

After I collaged the images, I just added the knobs for feet, and then the shells and beads on top. I had fun making this box, and I'm thinking I'm going to have to make some more now : ) 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Something New

I am joining in on a new challenge this week. On Mixed Media Monday the theme this week is something new.  So the first new thing for me is that I am  participating in this group!   Here's my entry:

There's a couple of new things that I did on this piece.  First of all I had the left over hand-painted papers from this other collage/painting that I did. 

This is new for me.  I like to collage, but I usually use ready made papers, but I really like the look of the hand-painted papers when they're collaged onto the surface--there's more texture.

I used an 8x8 Gallery wrapped canvas (I really like using these canvases), and I collaged the papers onto  it.

and then I put a black acrylic wash over it to tone it down--

And then another fairly new technique for me is what I did to make  the sunflower.  I drew it on , and then applied Golden's Light Molding Paste over it.  I apply it with a palette knife--it just takes a little patience, but that's okay because that's my word for the year : )

I usually let that dry overnight, and then I just painted it with my new Galeria acrylics, which I love--

I love the way it turns out--just great texture.  I hadn't put the sealer on it yet, but I put a few coats of a gloss varnish on it, and it ends up looking like stained glass. I really  like the end result.

Also, another something new discovery for me that I wanted to mention was finding  this new artist in the latest issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.  Her name is Lynda Andrus.  Her art is amazing, and what she uses to make it is just as amazing--so go take a look.


Related Posts with Thumbnails