February 27, 2009

The Nursery

The Pond Critters

As you know, for the past two weeks I've been busy painting little forest animals for a happy expectant Mommy and Daddy. I'm happy to report that - YIPP-EE-ee - the room is finished!

Here's a ton of pics so you can see most of what I've been up to and the cause of my severe case of LOCS (Lack of Color Syndrome) last Friday before the flowers, pond and color had been added. (Thanks again, Shelly - BlueRidgeLady, for the acronym - I just love it!) If you'd like to see all of the details, just click on each of the pictures. Have a super-terrific, colorful weekend!

The Large Critters




The Small Critters



The Big Picture!


February 24, 2009

CrowAbout Week #25

Here's my entry for this week's CrowAbout challenge. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get the image of a bee in a bonnet out of my mind! Stung with the bee of desire, this sweet little Victorian Miss has some heady choices to make. (Pardon the pun!) Temptation abounds. Will she or won't she succumb to desire? The faux lacing on the word, "Choose", represents her strait-laced upbringing and moral code of conduct.

This 5"x7" journal page was created on a piece of recycled cereal box, gessoed, watercolored and collaged with six of the CrowAbout images supplied by Nancy Baumiller. The blissful couple is an image from Outsider Artists, and the pretty Victorian clipart is from Dover.

February 23, 2009

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida


Previously I posted a few pictures of Ingrid Dijkers beautifully embellished journal pages. As my British friend would say, I was "gobsmacked" when I saw her work. Of course, I just had to try her technique on one of my pages. Here's the result.


This collage was done on a gessoed piece of cardboard from a cereal box. Holes were punched with a Crop-a-dile; the edges were gilded with gold marker and glass beads strung on very fine gauge copper wire. Thanks for the inspiration, Ingrid!

PS - I'm afraid that I'm showing my age with the title of this piece, but I've always loved the title of this song - not necessarily the song itself - and couldn't resist! Peace Out!

February 21, 2009

Brown Out!

Bunny in Early Stages

As mentioned in an earlier post, I've been busy painting animals this week - cute, furry little critters for a very special nursery. Expectant Mommy and Daddy are waiting for their little one, and the nursery is in its final preparatory stages.

Pond Scene

When I left my client on Friday, I looked around the room and smiled at the sweet little faces scattered around the room. It's about half-way finished and there's a lot more to do. But as cute as the room is, there was a longing and emptiness in my soul when I finished my work week. Painting this room has posed a lot of challenges and has give me a great sense of satisfaction; however, the absence of color on this project has really affected my psyche. I never quite realized how much working with color affects the way I feel physically and mentally. And this job has lots and lots of brown - light brown, dark brown and every shade and variance in between.

Fox - Completed

I wonder if there's a name for those of us who suffer from color deprivation? I wonder if it's some sort of rare disease? I wonder if I'm the only person who feels this depressed when surrounded with tons of brown and/or gray? All I know is this . . . . . . For the remainder of the weekend, if I see anything brown, it better be in a candy wrapper!

PS - Thanks for listening! I'll be sure to post more pics when the nursery is finished.

February 19, 2009

Inspiration


Did you ever see something and immediately experience an "Oh, WOW!" moment of sheer joy and creativity? It happened to me recently when I purchased my copy of Somersets "Art Journaling" magazine and saw Ingrid Dikers pages. My curiosity aroused, I visited Ingrid's website gallery and discovered her embellished art journal pages. No ordinary pages these! Her gloriously colored pages and ATC's are beautifully and exquisitely adorned with beads and unique embellishments. A veritable feast for the eyes and food for the soul.


Ingrid's pages have inspired me to try a few new techniques. I'll be sharing my experiments in a later post. A special thanks, Ingrid, for granting permission to use and share your outstanding work.

February 17, 2009

CrowAbout Challenge


My friend, Shelly from BlueRidgeLady invited me to participate in the Crowabout Flickr group recently. After feeling flattered, my first instinct was to run for the hills! After all, I'm a bit rusty and it's been hmmmmm-years since I've had an art assignment! However, in the spirit of this year's intentions, I graciously accepted her invitation.

So . . . ta daaaa . . . here's the result of Week 24's Crowabout assignment! We're given a sheet of images and must use at least three of those images in the collage. Somehow I managed to use 14 (not including duplicates). The only thing that wasn't on the sheet are the recycled foil hearts in each corner - remnants of some Valentine's Day sweets - and the words. Once again, I used a gessoed, recycled cereal box for a base. Thank you, Shelly, for helping me spread my wings!

February 15, 2009

Heartstrings

Some of the things that tug on my heart strings . . .


This experimental journal page was made using cardboard from a cereal box and copper wire strung with beads. Overall, I think this experiment is relatively successful.



I'm fairly pleased - except for the fact that the cardboard (even though it was gessoed prior to gluing all of the elements down), seemed to warp a bit after drying. It isn't easy being green!



February 11, 2009

Be My Valentine!

Happy, Happy Valentines Day!


Hope you have a sweet day!


May it be filled with hugs & the people you love!


And lots of sweet, delightful treats!

February 9, 2009

I'm an Ex!


For many of my generation, smoking was a very socially acceptable activity when we were teenagers. I'm proud to say that four years ago at high noon on this very day, I made a date with my last cigarette. When it was snuffed out I ceremoniously dumped the ashes, shed a few tears (after all, I was dumping a best friend), and firmly resolved never to light up again.

YAY, I'm proud to say that I've kept my promise to myself!!! It's been a solid four puffless years!!! Have I craved a cigarette now and then? Yup. Have I had so much as one drag? Nope! Was it easy to quit? . . . .Hmmmmm . . . . Sure . . . if you compare it to having a tooth pulled without novacaine. It was one of the most difficult things I've ever done (giving birth included). Am I happy that I quit? You Betcha! Beside the fact that I feel a whole lot better physically, my old cigarette money buys a ton of art supplies.

HiP, HiP, HoOrAy FoR Me!

February 8, 2009

Love Bunnies

As mentioned earlier, here's a bit of the type of work I do in my day job . . . lovely little bunnies wearing coats and hats!

With sincere thanks to Ms. Beatrix Potter, Mrs. Bunny will hop into her new home this coming Valentine's weekend to live with our youngest grand-daughter. She was painted in the center of a white play table from the Land of Nod.

February 6, 2009

The Comfort Zone

This journal page was created as a reminder to shed my heavy cloak of artistic discomfort and doubt. For the past week I've been working on a client project that's relatively outside of my comfort zone. I paint murals for children, and nurseries are my specialty.


The nursery I'm about to begin is quite different from my repertoire. Instead of choosing the usual baby themes and my often requested enchanted garden (complete with a variety of magical "winged things"), I've been busy enlarging animal drawings for a nature inspired, woodland themed nursery. No little anthropomorphic animals for this nursery. Mom and Dad have requested "fairly realistic looking" critters.

Admittedly, I'm a LOT more comfortable painting sweet little creatures wearing hats, coats and cute little shoes. I must admit, I DO love the fantasy of it all . . . my work becomes my escape.

Staying inside my artistic comfort zone is a lot like staying under a fluffy, warm feather duvet on a snowy Saturday in January. It's SO nice and comforting; it's SO snug. Why venture out? Sometimes as artists we tend to stay rooted in where we are, cloaked in a cape made of doubt and fear, rather than choosing to move forward creatively. We cling to our old techniques because they're so very familiar and safe. We fear rejection, failure and sometimes, even success. But nothing ventured, nothing learned; no opportunity for growth.

Once I begin to paint this project and stretch my wings, who knows . . . this may become one of my very favorite projects. Gotta go . . . the little creatures are waiting in the forest for their befuddled Snow White!

More Eye Candy!

Yippee!!! Today must be my lucky day! I ran into Borders to pick up a Valentine and found these . . . . .

V-e-r-y yummy stuff inside!
Thank you Somerset! You made my day!

February 4, 2009

Muse

Who is she, this wonderful creature who inspires and motivates?


Why and when does this ethereal creature visit? Sometimes she inspires when I least expect it, sending arty subliminal messages and thoughts that allow me to create the most wonderful things. Sometimes my Muse seems to have gone on vacation just when I need her the most, and trying to invoke her aide becomes fruitless.


On days like today, I desperately need a sign to let me know she's standing by and hasn't deserted me! Where can she be???