Monday, August 28, 2006

Tin-tastic gift tins...

That's the name of the newest class I'll be teaching at Stampassion in the fall. My inspiration came from Lisa Kaus, whose "tinnies" were featured in recent issues of Somerset Studio and Somerset Home. It was love at first sight for me, and I made a few small tinnies at Easter for family and friends. I think they make wonderful gift tins for the holidays, so I've adapted them for Christmastime. We're also doing a generic all-year style tin as well. I envision these filled with holiday baked goods, or even small gifts - like candles & lotions & coffees & teas.
Fortunately I have a friend who works at a school and is able to get the large tin cans for me, so that I don't have to go 'dumpster diving' or eat 4,000 pounds of canned peaches in order to supply these for class.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fall Faeries...

These little (3x5) matboard hangings are for my upcoming Fall Faeries class at Art Connection in October. I made them this weekend, and was very pleased with the results. I wish I could say that this was entirely my design, but I actually adapted them from a sample featured in a recent issue of Somerset Studio. I believe the original artist's name is Lori Lundy - so whereever you are, Lori, thank you for the inspiration! In addition to the matboard, they include vintage collage faces, glass beads, scrapbook papers, shipping tags, wire, fabric/satin leaves, fibers, eyelets, etc.
Because they can be used as miniature window hangers, I decorated the backs with collage papers and rubber stamps. If you're local, Art Connection is located in Socha Plaza, Scotia New York - call 518-384-0550 to reserve a spot in class.

I am also doing a new spontaneous collage mosaic class at Stampassion, in Latham, New York this fall. I forgot to scan the samples before dropping them at the store, but they're pretty wonderful, if I do say so myself. See the link at the right for Stampassion phone number and class schedule.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

eek! I've caught the ATC bug!!

I've resisted it for a really long time, but I was recently invited by my talented friend Marilyn, to join a newly organized artist's trading card swap, and I had great fun making my first three trading cards. The scan isn't the best, because I decided to make the cards from transparency film, and the reflection doesn't photograph well. I'm teaching a class using plain & preprinted transparencies, so it was a natural transition for me to tackle my first cards as transparencies, and I also wanted to try something a little unique.
The small format is a lot fun of when you want to create something, but don't have lots of time, or when you want to try a new technique in a small way...and swapping them means that you get to share your ideas and techniques, while receiving someone else's ideas & techniques in return.
For those who may not be familiar with artist's trading cards (ATCs), they are miniature pieces of art, always 2.5 x 3.5", but can be created of virtually any material, and they are typically swapped with other artists. They're a great way to show off your work and share new techniques with like-minded individuals.
In other news, I am struggling mightily these days with time management issues. I want to do so much, but there are only so many hours in the day, so every day, every week, I end up feeling stressed and frazzled. I really need to re-order my priorities and eliminate the things that just fall way at the bottom of the list (housework perhaps? I'd eliminate sleep if I didn't require so much of it!) - I am just so bad at figuring out what is most important when it ALL seems important. AAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaahhhh.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Illustration Friday- Play

I love to incorporate play into my work; in fact, I think that play is an essential part of being a creative person, whether it's playing with techniques, or just maintaining a playful attitude. I actually made this shadow box a couple of years ago, and it sits on a ledge outside of my office, to remind my co-workers of my mantra. It was made with acrylic paints, old news clippings and old game pieces.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Studio Friday- desert island

...if I was stranded on a desert island, what 3 art studio supplies would I bring with me?

This was like the Sophie's choice of art supplies - which beloved items can I leave behind and live without?? As you'll see from the photo, I chose my paintbrushes, watercolors, and colored pencils to accompany me to paradise. My logic was that I could paint or color on native items, or somehow manage to make paper out of the elements I found there. Watercolors would be very good on an island -surrounded by water- but I forgot my pencil sharpener, so hopefully I'd meet some friendly natives with sharp tools. This really was very difficult. I wanted to bring many, many other items - rubber stamps, ink pads, acrylic paints, decorative and watercolor papers, collage materials and other ephemera, to name a few!!!

...but I have often found that when I limit the number of items I allow myself to create with, I become very creative with what I have, so I'm sure I'd be able to make art without all of the stuff in my studio - but I should not have admitted that in writing!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Inspire me Thursday... on Tuesday

I've never participated in this before, but wanted to give it a try. I'm a graphic artist by day, so I chose to do a digital collage since that format lends itself well to black & white. This is just a fun little circus collage. I used a free online translation program to translate the french headlines, so they may be somewhat incorrect, but everything sounds better in french.

Note for those who've been following my blog: (especially Debbie)... Mozilla conquers Explorer... I downloaded the Mozilla browser this morning and like magic, no more photo posting problems, so hopefully, I'll be blogging more regularly again.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Artist's date last Friday...

Finally, I am able to post a picture!! I do not know what the problem is/was, and at this moment, I don't care! I am still unable to post the two pictures that accompany my Studio Friday blog, but I will do it eventually because the my mom's stick people are not to be missed!
This is the mixed media collage that I created on Friday, at my friend Debbie's house, during our kinda-monthly artist's date. It's my second attempt at Misty Mawn's background and collage techniques, as published in the spring-summer edition of Cloth Paper Scissors. My first attempt was very colorful, but more harsh, and lacked the number of layers that make Misty's pieces so rich and engaging. This is an improvement, but I still have to work on technique. I cannot exclaim enough how satisfying it is to create all of these subtle layers and watch what emerges.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Studio creative roots

I just thought about that the other day, that I have my creativity from both sides of my parents. Both my grandma's are/were inspired and creative. Does it run in your family too? And from who did you have it or better who else in your family was/is creative. Mom/dad/Grandma/grandpa/uncle/aunt... -anke

I've mentioned her several times already since I began blogging in May, but she bears mentioning again. My paternal grandmother, affectionately nicknamed Dambi by her first grandchild (me- it was my attempt to say Grammy, and it stuck), was definitely my biggest creative influence. She and her two sisters could all draw, paint, sew and cook, among other things. She 'armed' me with my first paints, paper, and oil pastels, and when I was 5 years old, I painted this picture, while sitting in her "tv room." - I suspect I had a lot of assistance from her at the time, but as the years went by, she insisted that I did it almost entirely by myself. Dambi also taught me to sew and embroider, and along with my dad, taught me to appreciate nature - trees, mountains, birds, etc., which fuel my need to create and leave my mark upon this earth.

And just last weekend I was telling my mom, who insists she doesn't have a creative bone in her body, that one of my most powerful creative memories as a child was watching her draw stick people. From a very early age, I was fascinated with watching people draw. I considered it pure magic to watch a pencil or paintbrush in hand touch paper and, like a magic wand, make a face appear, or a flower, or a whole scene. So last weekend, I asked my mom to draw my favorite stick lady & stick man. She also insisted on drawing a stick dog and house, to complete the 'masterpiece,'. (Footnote: when asked what the dog was, my 2-year old niece said "bug" so perhaps I had a somewhat unrealistic memory of my mother's talents as an illustrator - and I'd be a little bit worried if my sister's house actually has bugs that look like that!!) When my mother finished, we both laughed hysterically, and I confessed that these were not quite as charming as my childhood memory. Still, with my mother's creative influence, I can repair anything in my house with duct tape and safety pins!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

the dog days of summer...

I've always wondered what this phrase meant, since the dog days are not at all suitable for dogs, so I googled it, and learned that it has to do the constellations, namely Sirius (not satellite radio and not the animagus from Harry Potter), but Sirius, the dog star.

Webster's dictionary defines it as- 1: the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere; 2: a period of stagnation or inactivity

That's my lesson for today, kids. It is brutally hot & humid out there for the second day in a row. I walk Max at 5 am, and even at that hour there is no respite from the humidity. It's like swimming through the air.

In artful news, I've been invited by my talented friend, Marilyn Rock to participate in an artist's trading card swap, and I am now super-excited about working in this small format. I'll be posting pictures of my creations once I complete them.