Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Monday Challenge

Every Monday, in Kelly Hoernig's art aMUSEment group, she tosses out a word or object theme for us to use to create a piece of art or an art journal page.  Today's challenge was for us to use our art to convey the one thing we loved most in life.

Here's the result of my challenge ... sent via FaceBook's Message's system:


I've spent the better part of the morning trying to figure out how to convey through art, the one thing I love most. How do you capture something that is undefinable and indescribable in a life? 

I looked at images on that - pages upon pages upon pages and not one encompassed all of the aspects. Artistic talents throughout the ages have not. Why then would I attempt it? I won't - I'm sorry.

There are no words or paint mediums capable of conveying the love I have for The Lord in my life.
I know you can respect my decision to not participate in this challenge. 

I will in the next one, I'm sure.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Life is ...

Yesterday's blog showed you a page I did from a leftover stamp residue that was stamped off on a piece of bristol paper.  Today, I thought I would show you the original stamped page I made in my handmade Art Journal.

Foamie bits added to larger foamie
sheet to make a Foamie Stamp

I started with a homemade stamp made of left over foamie bits from a day's project of making home-made stamps from Foamie sheets.  I took all those left over bits and glued them to a heavier Foamie sheet.

Foamie Bits Stamped Background
Then, I painted my full spread page with a 50/50 mixture of ultramarine blue and payne's gray.  When that was dry, I created a mix of Liquitex Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna and Gold Metallic and used my brayer to spread it across the palette paper.  I placed the foamie stamp down into it, stamped one half of the pages, then reloaded the stamp in the paint mix and stamped the other page half.  (When that was done is when I created the spare sheet and used up the left over paint.).  I then used a variety of circle making items in my stash and created the circles within circles from that same paint mixture.   While all of that was drying, I washed all the tools.  ,-) 

This page spread sat waiting for close to two weeks while I tried to come up with an idea for its use.  Then yesterday, two things sparked an idea.  First, it was a Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's old video I happened to catch where she used circles in her work.  The other was a Pinterest freebee find on a collage of old maps.

Life is Just a Journey - Princess Diana
The circles I had going seemed to relate a planetary theme so I cut out circles of the maps and distressed them before adhering.

I finished it off with a few brass buttons within the painted circles and a brass clasp to hold the metallic paper tag which has a quote by Princess Diana - "Life is just a Journey."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Unexpected Pages

One of the things I've observed from many
Stamp Residue and Alcohol Inks
different sources is that when one is making a background with stamps or stencils, one should use up the leftover medium onto another page in your journal or a loose sheet of paper stock.  This makes clean up easier on the stamp/stencil and gives you a start on the background for another page   So, being an apt pupil, I did that recently.  (The original page source will show up on this blog one of these days, I'm sure.  :-)

Anyway, I was a bit disconcerted at all the white showing through the residue from the stamp so I took some alcohol inks and began spraying.  This (to the right) was the result. 

But goodness ... what to do with THAT!?!

Sometimes ... just sometimes, an idea will pop in and you just know its the only thing that will do the trick.

And so, I think it did. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Artist's Doubt

Mixed Media Mondays with Tracy Weinzapfel Studios is a group of pure fun I recently joined.  Tracy has a live U-Stream class every Monday night for free which I stumbled across and enjoy so much.  She has encouraged members to create a bucket list of small to large Life Achievements each member would like to do or become or see in this year.

As you may remember, I haven't any real desires to do or see or become much of anything except to capture memories of my life and put them down in my art journals.  Egotistically, I rather hope the future generations might want to get to know their Mimi.  I hope my oil paintings will be passed down through the family members and someone, someday might say "Who was that painter in our family?" and someone will have my journals in safekeeping just for that moment in time.  :-D
Artist's Doubt

And as you also may know, I love my oils and paint from study ... but am completely kerpfuddled with this mixed media and design on the fly!  Luckily, much of my life has been a kerpfuddle and I just muddle thru the puddle and make a mess and track it everywhere and go on about life anyway often to the consternation of those about me, for which I will say once more -- "truly sorry!" (((hugs))).  :-)  

Ok, so anyway, I did a February Challenge for Tracy's group -- and this is it.  I see so many newcomers to this media who doubt what they are doing.  I do as well.  It doesn't stop me, of course, but it sure can be disconcerting when one questions the validity of what they are doing with their art.   I hope they doubt and just keep doing ... it so matters!  Every time you doubt and push forward gets you *that* much closer to where you want to be eventually.  So I say ...

PUSH ON and PLAY and enjoy the adventure!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rain Will Fall

Rain Will Fall
Today we are expecting a winter storm.  It was cold, windy and rainy upon waking this morning and as the day progresses the rain is to become freezing rain.  The snow is expected to begin this evening and leave about 5".  

What a dreary view from the window.

But I have paint!  I can play and put colour my world! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Textile Artists Tribute

Cottage Style Vintage Stamps - 11 piece kit $4.97
I was fortunate enough to get out and go to Joann's Fabrics and Crafts this past Monday and happened to find a wonderful little kit of 11 Cottage Style Vintage Stamps on clearance sale for $4.97.   I love the spiral doodle of the four round ones - they reminded me of a lacy Victorian doily -- foofy and right up my style alley.

As well this week, I had pulled out three fabric quarters that were similar in colour and felt it might be fun to make a page around them as fabric is something very relevant to my personal history. My Gramma, Mama, mama's sister - my Aunt Dee,  my own sister - Diane, and my daughter-in-law - Angie,  and I too all enjoy/ed sewing.

Tribute to the Textile Artists in our Family
My very first sewing machine was a little toy one which I used to make Barbie dolls but  the locking stitch would not lock to the point of insanity!  One day Gramma and Grampa surprised me with an old Singer Treadle they had gotten for $10.00!!!   A friend of Grampa's had a sewing machine repair business and he made sure I had all the parts and needles and bobbins and treadle tether I would ever need.  I LOVED that machine and used it to make all my doll clothes and later on to make the baby clothes for my children.

I was devastated when it was stolen from our garage while in temporary storage during a move to a new home and had cleared the old house out for final cleaning.  :-(  I now have a Brother 8500 with cams and cartridges ... and its wonderful .. but its sure not the same as my old treadle!   

So anyway ... here I had new stamps and fabrics and they just seemed to go together to make a page  in my homemade art journal - as a Tribute to all the Textile Artists in my Life.  :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Morning Glory Memories

A Morning Glory Memory
I remember the day I first planted anything. I was little, perhaps 5, and someone at church gave me a little packet of Morning Glory seeds. Daddy helped me plant them out by a trellis he made especially for them and attached to the tall pole that he'd also built a birdhouse atop it for the Martins in the area.

I waited and waited and daddy helped me water the seeds very carefully when needed. But, in a child's life, a week seems forever let alone waiting for something to grow! I despaired. There were plenty of leaves, but no pretty flowers!

Then one morning at breakfast Daddy asked ... "did you check your flowers?" I looked out the dining room window and saw something! I went racing out the back door in my jammies and slippers and THERE IT WAS! The first morning glory flower in brilliant blue with a beautiful yellowish white center. I squealed with delight and remember hearing daddy chuckling at me all the way across the yard to the back porch where he stood watching.

My morning glories came up year after year after year ... they just kept reseeding themselves and occasionally daddy would add another packet just for more colours. To this day, Morning Glories are my favourite flowers and roses are second.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dream On!

Dreams of Giverny
So many people dream of going to Paris, but not me.  Oh yes - I dream of going to France - but not to Paris really, although I wouldn't mind seeing it just once, I suppose.

Rather, I dream of going to Giverny and seeing where Claude Monet lived and walked.  Of all the artists that ever lived, he is one of my favourites if not my very favourite.  Ohhhh to see his pond and feel the sunshine on my face where he has been!

I was first introduced to him through my college Art Professor, Savin (if I remember correctly) who took us all by bus down to the Chicago Institute of Fine Art.  Monet's work was being featured there and I fell in love immediately-- have not stopped since.
Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies
Claude Monet, 1899
I love all the Impressionists really - what they did for art, artists and viewers by bringing bold full colour to paintings was something remarkable and incredible.  It was a movement of artistic freedom never to be lost again ... and they paid the price for it too at the time with ridicule and disdain.   They paved the way for all impressionism, post impressionism, cubism, and modern art.  

How blessed we are that they saw and envisioned a new form of art that today we take for granted.  I have no end of respect for all of them ...but Claude Monet has my heart.  :-)

My health and immobility issues now restrict travel but my dreams will live on til the day I'm gone from this earth too.  I hope Mr. Monet is there in that other world for me to sit and visit with a spell. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013



Part of my personal history is that I had a twin who didn't survive in utero.    As is often true with some aspects of one's personal histories, it is something I find difficult to talk about privately and so, I will not attempt it here publicly either.

But, it has been a very strong presence in every part of my life and who I am.  Because of that, its something I felt important to document in my Art Journal so I did include all of the private thoughts and information there for future generations to have if interested.  :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Hearts Day!

Its February 14th and lest someone forget ... Happy Hearts Day to you!!

Happy Hearts Day!
I hope you are blessed to have God, family, friends or a little (or big!) furrypet or all of them in your life to show you how much you are loved not just today but every day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Heartfelt Thoughts ...

I was reading commentaries through my friend Kelly Hoernig's open query for a give-away seat on her "Discovering Your Style & Creativity" e-course? - tell me then, "what would it give you the courage to do?"

Wish I could give those responders a BIG HUG and a dose of genuine heartfelt "listen up cuz this is important" to get them to understand that ... their fears or worries or heart-fusses over not being a good enough artist, or perhaps feel they aren't an artist at all, or worry that they don't have a style ... are just not worthy of a moment's thought. 

I'd tell them ...
  • You ARE an artist because you slap paint, you scrappaper, you spray inks, you stamp and use stencils, you doodle, you gesso, you study styles of other artists and learn how their techniques work by emulating them.     
  • My oils aren't too shabby but my art journal and mixed media are pretty horrendous.  Seriously, have you seen them?  My art journal/mixed media pages at this stage are a bit of Schizo-Kindergardenish-with-a-hint-of-Foofyness style right now.  Do they worry you about my mental health?  Yeah, me too!  ,-)
  • Does it matter? 
  • Nope.
We are so incredibly blessed to play and discover what works and doesn't work.
We are so incredibly blessed to pick up a brush and create any work of art.
We are so incredibly blessed to have even 15 minutes a day to doodle.
We are so incredibly blessed to be able to Google or YouTube things and find out how to do them or make them ourselves.
We are so incredibly blessed to have friends who share in our discoveries and laugh with us over those gawd-awful pieces and who also know that what we do is really something special even if only to ourselves because we were lucky enough to be able to do it at all.

God gave us a love of colour and joy in art ... HE started those trends you know!  Every part of our grand universe is filled with His colour and texture and style -- from majestic to awe-inspiring to whimsical and adorable!

How can we not take delight in what He's given us with our desire to play too?!?

So ... quititout please.

Go play and have fun.

Make a mess, slap paint, spray ink, doodle, stamp or stencil something, experiment with colours and share your work with your bestest friends and laugh.

And take Kelly's e-course because she's got you covered with all of that too just in case my thoughts here didn't help.  ,-)

Monday, February 11, 2013

God Colours

Today has been a dreary and cold day in the burbs of Chicago.  This has followed several nights of interrupted sleep which made for a challenge to find energy to do anything of value.  lol

So, I made foamie stamps.  Nothing special, just basic shapes that I can use in making backgrounds, including a heart that I wanted for an art journal page for Valentines Day.  OH ! -  and what I did think of as rather fun --> I made one good sized stamp of nothing but the leftover foamie bits from cutting out the basic shapes.  Its rather like a mosaic, don't you think? :-)
Foamies Stamp

Stamp Results

I spent some time in prayer while I was gluing ... I do tend to pray a lot when I'm being creative.  I get into a quiet zone in a way, I guess.  But as I prayed, I was reminded that no matter the weather or fatigue, by opening myself to God in prayer, He lifts my spirits and brightens my heart.  I know He'll answer every prayer and in His perfect timing.   And so I painted a simple little page for fun in my Art Journal.
God colours my heart so magnificently well!
God Colours My Heart

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Adventures Begin!

The Life
Greek Cafe
If you've ever visited my website, you know I tend to paint in the "fine art" genre with Genesis Oils and have done so since about 2004.  I love everything there is about that painting medium and have really been pleased with my self-taught painting skills to date.

The Shell

Then, recently, I was invited to join a FaceBook group of artists, called art aMUSEment, headed up by Kelly Hoernig, who is a well known instructor within the Decorative Painting Industry.  Each of the artists in the group have their own experience in a wide variety of artistry mediums. The fun began almost immediately as each Monday, Kelly would toss out an idea (a word, an item, a thought, a quote, etc.) for us to use to create a piece oriented around that *thing*.   It has been great fun to see the creativity and diversity of everyone's work.

December 2012, Kelly queried the group, as to our interest in joining her with a 2013 Art Journal.  I googled the phrases I'd heard used -- "mixed media" and "art journaling" to see what it was all about and it looked interesting.  We were to pick a word to be a key factor in our journals ... not a New Year's resolution, but a word that mattered to us.  I chose "memory" (with the intent to also encompass all of its thesaurus references, like remember, remembrance, etc.) as its a concern for me -- I seem to be losing data bits that were once part of my brain.bat.   (I blame the plethora of meds I have to take! LOL)  

Flower Fun
"I must have Flowers"
So December 31st, Kelly started us on our journey with a list of materials we'd need and began giving us prompts each week to get us moving along.  For me, trying to figure out how all those materials worked was a challenge ... let alone trying to figure how to use them to build a mixed media page or a page for an art journal!  lol   I also have tried to improvise where possible by creating my own materials - stamps, stencils, inks, etc., to help our Social Security Income constraints.     

Roses vs. Diamonds
I have, nonetheless, enjoyed the adventure so much!  My work has been rather hideous thus far.  lol  It likens back to my first days (months, years!) of trying to paint with acrylics.  O.o  Actually, I imagine some of my attempts now are challenged simply because of my challenge with acrylics. They are a primary medium with this style of art.   But I persist now because I remember that every page I do puts me that much closer to the results of where I want to be and what I want do eventually with this form of art. 

Stay tuned ... there will be more!   lol