Monday, May 31, 2010

Two New Girls

I call these my Garden Girls--

I really love creating these faces and a BIG Thank You to Suzi and Sharon for being my face teachers.  I can't believe how much they've taught me and how I continue to learn.  And it always amazes me how all of the student art is so unique from one another's .  Suzi tells us to copy her, and her videos and pdf's are very detailed, explaining that this is how we learn--to copy.  And even though we do "copy" her, it's always our own style, because it's coming from us. Makes sense, everyone is one of a kind--so they're art will be too--it's part of us.  This is why we're so protective of it, I think, and probably so overly critical too.

BTW, Sharon is having a new online class, and she is giving a free one away to someone.  Just go to this post to enter the giveaway.  Hope everyone here in the U.S. is enjoying their Memorial Day holiday.  The last 3 day's weather here has been exceptional--I'm loving it!

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Metal Embossing Tutorial--My Way

I don't know if there is a right way to emboss metal, but this is the way that I emboss metal.  And let me tell you, it's SOOO easy, and you probably have most  everything you need for it already, including the metal. The picture inside of the frame is all embossed metal--

I've shown metal embossing before, but it's been a while, so I decided to show you with a little more detail on how I go about doing it.  I use the aluminum  metal foil (36 gauge) that I get at Dick Blick, but  you can also use the aluminun pie tins or any aluminum tray that you can get at the grocery store.  You can  just wash the ones that you bought  that had food in them--they're just as good.  And I've purchased a few embossing tools, but the one I always go back to is either the other end of a paint brush or a dull sharpened pencil.  The metal usually rips for me when I use a stylus.  The foil is pretty durable, but you do have to be careful, and it can be cut with regular household scissors.  After I sketch my design lightly with a pencil, I start embossing (you can emboss on either side)--

I knew that I wanted a rooster, heart, and sun on this, so I sketched it on. After that I just doodled with my paint brush tip or whatever my choice of embossing tool that I'm using at the time.  You don't even have to sketch anything on--you can make a zentangle--or just emboss whatever comes to mind.
After that, I always put some alcohol inks on it first and when the inks are dry, I apply a black craft acrylic paint quickly, and then wipe if back off again.  Just don't wipe too hard, because you'll get right back down to the metal.

Then when that's all dry, I just paint in my design with acrylics, but I recommend the artist's acrylics, because they're much more vibrant.  The craft paints are too thin and it's hard to cover the metal.  So when all of the paint is dry, I always spray a couple of coats of a workable fixative on it--the paint will come off if you don't.  And then when the fixative is dry, I put a gloss varnish on it, so it has a nice shiny look to it.

It's very hard to get a good photo of the finished piece--it's much better in real life.  So the frame--well a couple of  months ago, I went to the wholesale show in Columbus, Ohio, and I showed everyone these barnwood frames that I purchased there--

These frames had glass inserts in them.  So I kept the glass in it, and just adhered the metal piece with extra heavy gel medium right on the glass--it always works!  And I hadn't cut the metal just right to fit inside the frame, so I camouflaged the side with textured wallpaper--

I hope I covered everything, but if you have any questions--just ask.  So next time you bring one of those trays home from the grocery store, don't throw it out--try this--it's fun.

And here's some  more rooster love--


I also wanted to show you what I treated myself too.  When I saw these earrings on Sharon's blog

I knew that I had to have them--these are me, and I just got them yesterday (very quick service!) I love them Sharon--these particular earrings were published in the magazine Bead Trends, but this isn't the first time that she's been published.  Go check out her blog--she's also a very talented mixed media artist.

I hope that everyone has a great holiday weekend here in the U.S.--I know I will--the weather is looking beautiful!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

There's Something About Roosters

I love to collect them and I love to paint them.  So I knew that I wanted to paint on another cupboard door for my show next week, and what better choice?!

My newest love--Rangers Distress Crackle Paint--in every distress ink color!

And you HAVE to have the layers!

And while I'm on the subject--this is one my favorite roosters from my collection. And guess where I found him?--Yep, that's right--a garage sale!

I love him--he's nice and tall too--about 12 inches.  See, you never know what you'll find at a garage sale.

I forgot how much I enjoy painting roosters.  I hope everyone liked my rooster , because there's more on the way.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And The Winner of My Giveaway Is--

is  #36, and #36 is Debbie from Debbie's Art Works--Congratulations Debbie.  Everyone--go check out Debbie's very creative blog and you can congratulate her too!

More giveaways in the future!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Button Town

So continuing on through Button Town--we're now in a more upscale neighborhood, and this home deserved to be on a 24 x 16 canvas--


This neighborhood has tape measures that line the sidewalks--
And I found this ornamental tree there--
Look at this--It's a triptych!
So why are alot of us attracted to buttons--old and new?  Everytime I see them at a flea market or garage sale,  I grab them.  I have so many buttons--I think that if I laid them end to end, they'd end up in California.  Okay, I may be exagerating a bit, since I live in Pennsylvania.  But you know what I mean--I have alot of buttons.  I don't even use them that much either. I think it's because I'm fascinated with  their history.  Were they ever used before?  Did they come off of someones clothes?  And if they did, whose clothes were they on, and who would take the time to remove all of those buttons?  How old are they--where did they come from?  Oh, if only buttons could talk!
P.S. For those of you who didn't see it, you can still sign up for my giveaway.  I'll be picking the winner on May 26.  You can sign up here to win her--


Friday, May 21, 2010

Look What I Made!

When I go to the art festivals, I always like to take whatever I'm working on with me.  I do this for a couple of reasons.  One of them being, is that there are alot of down times at shows.  It would be nice to be busy with people all day, but that's usually not the case. There's only so much people watching  or eating I can do--I would go crazy just sitting there for 2 days with no art to work on.

And another reason is that it helps people from asking me   "Did you do all this?"  Yeah, I hear that alot.  So when I'm sitting there making art, they don't ask.  Alot of them like to watch and ask questions.  And if you haven't noticed by now,  I LOVE talking about not just my art, but all art, so if they're interested--I'll talk  their heads off!

And now that I'm a blogger, (and I know that all of you can relate to this) I'm never without my camera, because you never know when you'll find that perfect shot for your blog.  So I decided to show you my work in progress during the show.  I started with an 8 x 8 gallery wrapped canvas and collaged  papers on it from an old sewing book--

After that, I put down a watery acrylic wash--

I brought with me a  scrapbook paper pad which I used  to  put my picture together.  This was a little tricky, because on Saturday it was a bit breezy to say the least--

And then when I was back on Monday, I finished it with details and buttons (the buttons were an obvious choice--to go with the sewing pages)

BUT ALSO (are you still with me?), I had brought 2 more canvases with me, and I made another one--

So what did I make?  I made a diptych!

Actually, I was going to make a triptych, but the other canvas was like a half inch larger than the other two, so I just made another piece of art to add to my button town!

So, needless to say, I was very content at the show, just playing and talking to people, plus the fact, that I have to step it up.  I have another show in 2 weeks!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

As Promised--Another Giveaway

And this time, it's a 2 for 1.  There'll be 1 winner who will receive 2 things.  The first is a print of my

I put her on a 5 x 7 canvas and then framed her on an old frame that I had and collaged and embellished it.

And the next is this great book ( I'm trying to "downsize" my book collection--that's a laugh)

This is a wonderful read  for any type of artist.  It's by Rice Freeman-Zachery.  She's interviews 15 different artists on how they go about creating in hopes to inspire you to create.  A couple names that everyone will know are Claudine Hellmuth and Michael DeMeng.  This is a very  informative book and also great artwork inside too!

So all you have to do is leave a comment on this post, and if you're a follower, let me know, and I'll put your name in twice.  You have until next Wednesday, the 26th.

This is my way of saying a big THANK YOU to all of you guys for encouraging me with your comments, and also for helping me do what I set out to when I started this blog--to learn and to grow!!  Good luck everyone!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Back From The Festival

And Holy Moly--look at the people--

I think it's safe to say that half the population of Rochester was there, plus surrounding areas.  These shots were taken on Saturday.  It was cold and later overcast, but okay,  considering how it could have been.  Yesterday was one of the most gorgeous days I've seen in a LONG time--it was perfect.  And people were definitely out enjoying the beautiful weather.   Sales weren't great, but they never are for me on a Sunday, but I didn't care--I was just enjoying the day. 

So, I wanted you to meet a couple more of my artist friends.  First of all, I had to get my booth all ready--

And down the same row that I was in, was Jen.  The name of her businsess is P.S. Enjoy Your Life (how much do you love that title?!)  I met Jen  last year at her very first art show. She may be just starting out, but you would never know it.   When we first met, we just  clicked,  and all I have to do is show you her art, and then you'll know why (you can click on the photos to get a better view)--

The smaller pieces are prints on 3.5'' x 4.5'' resin coated woodblocks, and don't you love that large piece that she had on the outside of her tent. It's always good to display an attention-getter like this to get people inside your booth. And underneath the painting  are these--

These are resin-filled coasters with vintage bottle caps!--Cool!

So at the end of the show, we bartered, and this is what I picked out from her--

And now you know why we're kindred spirits!  And she does have a website---p.s.enjoy your life--just click on the title.

And then, at the end of my row, was Roland.  Roland is a metal artist.  My husband and I met Roland back in the 90's when he was just starting out also.  I remember--he had all of his work and tent in the back of a pick-up truck.  It was a craft show, and to this day  it's in  the top 10 list of one of the worst shows that I've been in, BUT,  it's  also in the top 10  list of one of the most enjoyable shows that I've been in because Roland was our neighbor, and  all we did that whole weekend was laugh--Roland is one of a kind.  His booth  is a double one, so it was hard to get a good shot--here's the front--

So-this is what he specializes in, and I'm taking this description right off of his website--Roland's creations are constructed from metal spikes, rods, rivets and other pieces of steel.   And they're all of different professions, and also custom ordered too.  And I mean EVERY profession--

Are you kind of getting the idea of Roland's wit?  ; )

And every year, he features a couple of larger pieces that he's designed.  This year it's a spider monkey and owl, and notice the spiders next to the owl--

This next photo is Roland's personal favorite--

And I can't talk about Roland without mentioning his wife Maria--I'm pretty sure that she is his rock.  She's great, and I'm thinking a very patient person (I may be wrong, but I think you might need a little bit of patience with Roland.....but in a good way : )  It was so great to see them both.  Roland's website is (and again, just click on the title)

So, as you can see, I had a great weekend, and I could go on, but this post is getting WAY too long.  I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm going to have another giveawy in my next post--just to thank everyone for following and stopping by to leave comments.  I always, always appreciate this!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ready To Go & I've Been Featured!!

And I have a few more pieces that I finished before I leave--

Okay,  can you not tell the I've been watching The Tudors (I love that series!) She is reminding me of Jane Seymour--that would be Henry's 3rd wife after he "got rid" of Anne Boleyn.  Jane's body is actually an old bottle that I altered--she was fun to put together.  I think I'm going to do this again.

And I finished my magazine stand--

I'll be leaving tomorrow morning, (so far, the weather is looking better) and won't be back until Sunday night, BUT I will be packing the internet with me so I can check in from time to time--I love my little Dell!   Don't you just love modern technology?!

And lastly, yes--I am featured on Mixed Media Artist's blog today--Thank You Cyndi--this makes my day!!!  Go check it out everyone--just click on her blog name.


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