Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The unofficial beginning of summer...

That's what this time of year signifies to me...My herb garden is planted on my deck...I shine up the gas grill for a summer of kabobs and marinades...the lawn is mowed...and mowed again...and again...hasta are split and replanted...birds are nesting all around our house...I ease into a four-day work week...and I try to remember how to a book...paint for hours...feel the warmth of the sun...roll in the grass with Max...and breathe...breathe...breathe...

Monday, May 19, 2008

How I spent my weekend...

These are samples for an upcoming class that I'll be teaching at Stampassion called Stamp & Collage on Canvas. It was my first experience using Tim Holtz Distress Crackle paints. I was skeptical, but I love the palette of colors and after getting used to the consistency of the paints (very thick), and the applicator brush - (very annoying, in my opinion,) I was pleased with the results. Rubber stamping on the painted background was a bit tricky, but I played around with techniques to make it look a bit handpainted. Like so many others, I am infatuated with birds as artful subject matter these days, and the stamps we chose for this class obviously reflect that.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Red Hot...

That was the title of this acrylic collage on canvas, which I mailed into Somerset Studio waaaaaay back in early 2007. I submitted a number of artworks for one of their themes -- "Nature Preserved" -- one was actually published, but I had completely forgotten about this piece after all that time. I love chiles -- both as an icon and as food - hot, hot, hot -- yum, yum yum, so I was very happy to see it published. I also love the color red, and I really love the simplicity of minimalist collage, so this piece gives me a warm feeling right in the center of my chest -- or is that the jalapenos I had with dinner...hmmm??

Anyway, my collage found its way into the latest edition of Somerset Gallery, and it was a treat to find this comp copy in my mailbox yesterday.

Oh, and my good friend Marilyn's wonderful house collage is in there too!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Far out and groovy...

A fun little illo. I drew the van just one time, then scanned, copied and rotated it to varying degrees, then added color and texture in Photoshop.

Peace, out.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

My April ta da list

It's time for my ta da list again. To anyone new to my blog, this list serves as a record and reminder for me of the ways in which I am following my creative path. Life goes by so quickly that I often feel as though I haven't accomplished as much artistically in any given month or year, as I would like to, and this list reminds me that I probably have done more than I give myself credit for. I recommend it to anyone who keeps a blog or any type of journal. It's also a chronicle of my artistic whims and the ways in which my art and interests evolve over time, which is a helpful tool in my quest for self-awareness.

Last month, I...

...purchased a year at a glance calendar & organized my events: personal/teaching/art projects/deadlines.
...wrapped up the biggest of my freelance jobs for awhile!! I've got a few more to finish, and more on the horizon, but that's for future lists!
...taught 4 classes at Stampassion, in Latham, NY
...had artist dates with my friend Debbie and my friend Lori, sharing ideas and experimenting with painting techniques.
...participated in a monthly ATC swap and also a collage swap, which was great fun!
...created a series digital illustrations on my blog, based on sketches I created years ago. This was a good/fun exercise to get my feet wet in photoshop elements, which I am preparing to teach
...took all of the photos for the altered chess set challenge -- yes participants -- I will be emailing you soon to take a peak as I write the article for submission!!
...met with Sheri, my creative coach...she always uncovers something beneath the surface that I was not conscious of, and yet once I see it, I knew it was there all along...

This time, it had to do with my need to make art that is just about play and experimentation, with no ultimate goal in mind. If I have artistic commitments -- class plans, articles to write, freelance deadlines (and by the way, I always have them), I don't allow myself to "play" until all the commitments are checked off my list. What happens, obviously, is that I never get to just play -- in truth, I never allow myself too. I keep hearing in that noisy head of mine..."you really need to plan that class today, then you can just paint." But the then rarely comes, because I always have obligations... we all do... but as artists, we need that creative play time.

Last year around this time, I told Sheri of my plan to use my summer Fridays off as art dates for myself... but as you might guess from this blog post, I made very little, if any, art on those days... and if I did make art, it was always art for a deadline or specific purpose. So Sheri has suggested that I try again. Only this time, I'm marking the days on my at a glance calendar, and I am calling them simply "creative play." I am free to do anything I want -- what a concept!!! --- but NOT class plans or freelance work. Just play. It should be wonderful, but I think it will be hard for me at first just to give myself permission.. for a real. day. off. just. for. me.!!!

By the way, this decision get serious about my creative play was prompted by this quote I read recently...

I think the hardest thing is that everyone wants to be good, to master everything in a weekend workshop. Painting is a lifelong process, and instead of worrying about making the perfect painting, you need to paint a lot." -- Patti Brady, Director Golden Working Artists Program

So go paint alot.
Or write, or draw or sew or collage.
a lot.