Friday, October 31, 2014

The Story of My Art - "Come to the Table"

Whether it was the only-slightly-slower-paced days of summer or the bustling excitement of holidays, my grandma's kitchen was always a place where things were happening.  It might have been ice cream sodas after the hay had been put up in the barn, or a lunch on-the-go with Grandpa in the fields.  Maybe it was pancakes for breakfast or turkey with all the trimmings for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  It didn't matter what time of year, or day of the week - just "come to the table."
This was one of my first experiments with paper as a background.  I liked the look and colors of these papers, so I cut them into varying sizes, though all rectangular, and began layering them on a the back of a shadow box frame I had.  I added some shading and highlights with acrylic paint, accenting some of the details in the paper design, and giving some depth and dimension to different areas.  I also noticed some of the shapes in the red paper looked like hearts, and added more on the blue.

This sat unfinished for a time, and when I looked at it, it somehow reminded me of a grandma's wallpaper.  As I pondered what to add, I decided I would add the fork, knife and spoon, using the pattern that my grandma used for everyday meals.  It was simple and utilitarian, but when I see it, I am back in her kitchen with the sights, smells and sounds that waffle between memory and dream.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Progress Report - Table and Chairs and. . .

I have had these doors now for a couple of months. I have some big plans for them too! Though I have been taking longer to get after this project than I would like. . .such is the life of a procrastinator!  
I have been able to remove the small, rusty knob and latch that were on the doors - really they were disintegrating, so I basically pulled them off, with the screws pulling out as well.

There are still two hinges and a large metal piece that looks like a hook or possibly a latch to hold the door closed(?).  That might be difficult to remove. . .

I also found a couple of chairs on the side of the road a short time ago, and while they look sturdy (after I tighten up the legs) I think I am going to paint them.  I will begin by cleaning them, and then covering them with a coat of bonding primer which I used for this chair, and works really well.  Then I can decide what color I want to paint them.

The girls have invited some friends over to hang out this Saturday, so I am working on some simple decorations for that, to make our space a little more "Fall-festive-feeling."  (I will share more on how I made some of these things in a later post...)

 I have some more ornament orders to work on as well, and my to-do list keeps growing and changing. . .

We also squeezed in a college visit this week...


Monday, October 27, 2014

Art Journaling - Intro

As November prepares for its entrance, I thought it would be a good time to get back to this book.  I started altering it a while ago, (here is the beginning) and wanted to document some of the progress each week.

With the holidays moving closer, my focus can turn to the craziness of planning and doing.  I want to be sure to set aside some quiet time for remembering all the blessings I have been given, and I want a place to keep those reminders, those things I find unique or lovely, or worth noting.  It might be a word or three, quotes, thoughts, images, pictures, textures. 

If you want to follow along with your own journal, I will include pictures and steps of my process, but here is where you can get started, and if you have any questions, please leave a comment here, or on my Facebook page!  !

  • First you will need a book.  It can be an actual book, or a sketchbook or journal.  Something with a fairly sturdy cover.
  • Remove sections of pages to make room to add more layers of paint, paper, etc. (cutting or tearing out three or four pages here, six or seven pages there. . .)
  • Glue some pages together with a glue stick, to make thicker sections.  (gluing three or four pages together here, six or seven pages together there. . .)
  • Once the glue is dry, go over each page with gesso, which is a type of primer to protect the pages from the paint and other elements we might add.  (I don't believe this is absolutely necessary, so you can move on to the next step if you don't have gesso.)
  • Gather your supply of papers, paints, markers, pens, pencils, glue, fabric scraps, rubber stamps, ink pads. . .  you get the idea. . .
Next week we will start creating on our first set of pages! And though I hope you already look for things to be thankful for, be sure to jot them down somewhere until we get started with the journal!

As we move closer to Thanksgiving, where is your focus?  How do you keep reminders of blessings, lovely things, or fun memories!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Story of My Art - "Cherries"

This painting began with a colander full of fresh, sweet cherries.  I splurged on a bag from the store and had just rinsed them off.  As they sat there on the counter, the light through the window over the sink caught the drops of water making them look like tiny bubbles of light on the surface.  I captured the image with my camera, as I knew the scene wouldn't last.
 The original was painted in acrylics on a 24" x 24" canvas.  I love the various shades of red in this one bowl. 
I painted the edge of the canvas the same green as the stems, and wrote out the fruit of the Spirit listed from Galatians 5:22-23.

24"x24" acrylic on canvas
Private collection
Prints available on request
I also painted these cherries in watercolor. . .


"Cherries 2"
11" x 14" 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Progress Report - Ornaments and My To-Do List

I have so many ideas, and am trying to get some order in my schedule.  So I will be sharing progress reports - about once a week, just to let you know what I have been up to. 

My progress reports will generally be pretty brief with just a picture or three of what I am currently working on.  They may include things that might not be considered "creative" in the sense of painting or making something, but they are things that are a part of my daily life, like doing dishes, baking cookies, helping with homework and well, you get the idea!

I have had some ornament orders, and as I get those off to their new homes, more projects are lined up.   I may get more ornament orders as Christmas gets closer, but for now things are fairly quiet.
**If you are interested in ordering an ornament, leave a comment or send me an email and I will get back to you!  I only take orders up until December 1st for Christmas delivery.**

My to-do list so far, includes writing more blog posts - stay tuned for those - and working on some more paintings and mixed media pieces.  I have an altered book art journal to work on (with a post series too!), and I need to try to finish the dining table I have been attempting to put together...


So... what have you been up to?

Be sure to look for me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Story of My Art - "Michigan Field"

I grew up in Michigan in the middle of open fields, dusty roads and dairy farms.  The seasons were marked by the weather, but also by the activity of the farmers and their equipment that rumbled down the road on any given day. 

Spring meant plows and fresh tilled earth, smelling musty and yet somehow new.  New beginnings, new seed, new growth, new possibilities.

Summer brought hay balers and wagons traveling back and forth with one load after another of fresh cut hay.  That sweet smell in the heat of the day making its dusty way to the barn loft to be stacked and stored for use over the winter months.

Fall brought combines, corn pickers and the harvest of wheat and corn.  Once the wheat was gathered, the stalks were raked together and baled for animal bedding.  The corn was collected and ground into feed.

Winter didn't bring much work to the fields, but there was still plenty to do for the local farmers.  Animals to be fed, barns to be cleaned and equipment to keep running were just a few of the daily tasks.

This particular painting is of a field near where I grew up.  I found it interesting because it was a fairly flat field except for one large mound near the back.  I always wondered how that mound came to be, or how the rest of the field came to be flat!  Thoughts of burial grounds, or dinosaur fossils meandered through my mind when I was younger, and while I don't have an answer to the geological formation, the place still holds a fondness for me as it reminds me of home.
"Michigan Field"
Acrylic on canvas
8" x 10"
Original - $35 with frame
Print - $10

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stay Tuned. . .

I am working on putting together some things in an attempt to get a regular posting schedule going.  My tentative plan is to post two or three times a week.

- For Mondays I am working on putting together a series walking through art journaling.   It will start up the end of this month, to prepare us for walking through November with eyes and hearts of gratitude.  So stay tuned for a little instruction to come with those posts!

- Wednesdays will include updates and progress on current projects, which might just be brief descriptions or pictures of things I have going. 

- Beginning this Friday, I will be sharing the stories of my art.  These posts will give some background on some of the work I have done, which could include what inspired the piece or what transpired in my thinking while I was working on it.

I am looking forward to sharing these ideas with you, and would love to hear what ideas you are working on!