Friday, March 4, 2016

What We Hold In Our Hearts

"Art is as much about what is not there is about what is there. The greatness of a work of art depends more in what it holds back than in what it shows. " - Enrique Martinez Celaya, On Art and Mindfulness 2002

Because my profession has primarily been in the Arts, I'm often ask "Are your children also artist?" To this I usually reply "yes". Of course my children are grown now and have not chosen the same path as me but they are still artist.

Their creativity abounds in their chosen careers and lives. Both intelligent and beautiful women, one a teacher and one accountant, I believe that they are both very creative individuals. The one lesson that they learned is creativity is a message of growth, hope and belief, regardless of how it is conveyed.

My daughter (accountant) recently sent me this drawing she created. I don't know if she realized the impact its message would bring, one of hope, growth and belief of good things to come. Because it's not the greatness of what I see, it the greatness of what I know.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Zippers and Art

Janet Petrell of Kingston Springs creates artwork from an unassuming medium - zippers. Yes, she uses zippers as her medium. From what I have read Janet began her career through a 4-H challenge to create something that had been recycled. That was 36 years ago and Janet is still creating zipper art.

Look closely at this piece and try to understand the difficulty in this technique.

Now take a moment to appreciate a person's conviction to creativity and her relentless journey in art.

Thank you Janet for your dedication to art and creativity.

Everyone please remember to embrace what you love and love what you remember.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Spice Girl

The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it. - Daniel Gilbert Happiness, Knowing, Secrets

I was never really taught  how to cook, my mother was not one to share kitchen time as a learning experience. Her objective was to put food on the table and clean up the kitchen - no room for fun here. I like to tell people I am a "self taught" cook, everything to me is a learning experience. My creativity in the kitchen can be beneficial as well as not. I have learned over the years some things can not be varied and rules must be followed.  One of the things I was never really comfortable with was the use of spices. Growing up there were two spices in mom's kitchen, salt and pepper. While I enjoyed cooking and I could follow recipes and understood the essentials of spices, I still didn't feel I had a grasp on what spice was enhancing what foods.

So the journey begins one wintery day when my husband and I stopped in World Market and I purchased several spices and jars.  That evening I researched each spices (nerdy yes that's who I am) and recorded the information in a tiny & cute notebook. The next day I cleaned the jars, labeled them (this took much deliberation) and welcomed them to my kitchen.

For the past months I have so enjoyed cooking and my new love of spice knowledge.  I have picked up my next round of experimentation; arnica, chamomile and lavender; I am excited to see where they take me in my culinary skills.

Be present in your skills, learn and understand. Most of all savor the essence of each moment.

Happy Leap Year!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bits and Bobs - mostly friends

One of the pleasures of creativity is sharing time with friends. Nikki (friend and accomplice in creativity) brought her sewing and knitting notions to my studio. Wanting to keep things simple and relevant we decided to embellish the knitting needles as individual pieces to be displayed in a group collection. Maybe in a glass jar or on a tray just something interesting and different to see and talk about.

As you can see, we pulled out all the stops - paper, paint, fabric, ephemera etc.  Nikki now has possession of these beauties and (hopefully) is proudly displaying them for everyone to enjoy.

I like to call these kind of projects the embellished collections. A few oddities, mixed media supplies and viola! You have a collection of interest. Sure beats buying manufactured collectibles (vintage reproductions) from the big box store.

Gather a friend or two and some oddities (or odd friends - just kidding) and begin your creative journey to starting your own embellished collection.

Send me a photo or two. I love to see everyone's work and accomplishments.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Cooperation from the Heart to the Mind

The mind and body connection has been analyzed and written about for a very long time. The outcome being how you think can affect how you feel and likewise, how you feel can affect how you think. Knowing these special terms can help us to understand who we are and why we feel (and think) the way we do.

The key to it all, I believe is practicing the terms your heart and mind presents to you. The operative word being present.

The creative mind has the innate ability to take your experiences and represent them in a visual sense. All the choices that you make are reflections of your heart and mind working together. Whether it is the pass that seeps forward or the immediate - one thing is for sure you are creating in the present.

Take a look back at a piece of art that you created and try to remember the details of the work, when did you work on it, what did it mean to you at the time and what does it mean now.

Our brains react to everything that is around us. Find your sketchbook and a pen. Go to a very busy space (classroom, restaurant etc.) Sit down, make yourself comfortable, with sketchbook and pen in hand close your eyes and draw whatever comes to mind. After a few minutes open your eyes and notice how focused you are on the drawing process. Shut out the world around you and commit to you.  Try this experiment in different locations, noisy, quiet and so on. Look at your drawings and share them others, write about them. Explore all the depths of being present and how you connected with heart and mind.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Grafix Rub-onz Project

Liquid Watercolor, Rub-onz Grafix, Ledger Book 
This project involves creating a transfer from Rub-onz by Grafix and incorporating the transfer into a mixed-media piece of art.
Step one - gather supplies needed for the project. Grafix Rub-onz, Grafix Doubletack Adhesive Film, Grafix Acetate self-adhesive, substrate (I used watercolor paper 16 x 20), liquid watercolor, acrylic paint, colored pencils, brushes, matte medium, collage resources, scissors, craft knife, plastic 1" putty knife, jet-ink printer.  Below you see that you can create a watercolor piece of art or use one an image that already exist.
Step Two - follow the directions on the Grafix Rub-onz, print the image on the matte side of the film.
Step Three - peel the white liner paper from the Rub-onz film and adhere the sticky side down to the matte side of the image.
Step Four - Using a putty knife or stick, burnish down the film until all bubbles are removed. Set aside the cut-out image.
Step Five - Begin working on your background. I used a sheet of 200# watercolor cold pressed paper, ledger sheets, acrylic paint and matte medium.
Step Six - Apply matte medium to the substrate (watercolor paper), wet the ledger paper and adhere. Smooth out flat with a putty knife.
Step Seven - Embellish the background as desired with acrylic paint and matte medium.
Step Eight -  I drew a window and mounted it on Grafix Doubletack Adhesive Film. I also used a player piano scroll, symbols printed on Grafix Transparency Sheets.
Step Nine - Cut out the window and other collage pieces.
Step Ten - Adhere the collage pieces to the background and embellish as desired.
Step Eleven - Adhere the watercolor flower Rub-onz transfer to the background and embellish.

For more project ideas see Grafix website. Have fun creating!!!!

The Watercolor Printed on the Matte Film

Watercolor along with Rub-onz 

Peel the white liner paper from the transfer film.

Using scissors or craft knife trim image.

Step Six - Background Supplies

Supplies to embellish the background.

Step Seven - Background

Step Eight -Supplies for Collage Images.

Supplies for Collage Images

Step Nine -Collage & Transparency (self adhesive)

Step Ten - Use color pencil to embellish

Step Ten - Adhere  images

Step Eleven - Adhere Flower Transfer

Step Eleven - Embellish art as desired

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Grafix Monoprint Plates

I have always been attracted to printmaking; combining this process along with other techniques to create mixed media art is one of my favorite things to do. Grafix has helped to make this easier with affordable and reliable products. Monoprint Plates are available in a variety of sizes and quantities.  
Transparent, durable, flexible, and non-porous, Grafix Impress Monoprint Plates are used to create unique prints by applying paint, using stencils, tracing, or removing ink. 

Grafix Impress Inking Palettes are smooth, non-porous, .005" thick,9" × 12"plastic sheets that work with all types of printing ink. Great for rolling out inks for block printing, monoprinting, and stamping, the 25-sheet pad is bound at two ends to prevent curling when rolling ink with a brayer.
Impress Inking Palettes are quick and easy to use — when finished, just tear the sheet from the pad and discard it.

Grafix makes it easy by including an easy to follow instruction guide.

 Very economical when compared to metal or glass plates,  Monoprint Plates are also lightweight, easy to transport, and easy to clean.
Using a craft knife,  I cut down the plate to five inches square.

 Remove the blue protector liner.

 My first print was made by adding paint directly to the plate and placing the paper down on the undisturbed paint. I then rolled a clean brayer over the back of the paper. Creating prints in this manner, allows a lot of freedom. You do not have a preconceived notion of how it will appear. Clean the plates between prints and they can be reused to make multiple prints.  

 This mono-print was printed on Vellum that had been embellished with a collage resource, a torn page (upper left area) adhered to the Vellum before the print was pulled. Lines were removed on the plate with the end of a paintbrush (upper right corner).

This print was made on a plat (map). Step 1 - Squeeze ink or water based paint on Grafix Monoprint Plate. Step 2 - You may use a brayer or a paintbrush to spread and blend your paint. Draw into the wet with a wood skewer or the end of a paintbrush. This will remove paint, creating lines that become negative space on your print. Step 3 - Once satisfied, position your paper facedown on the wet plate, smooth evenly with the palm of your hand (or you may use a printmaking tool). Step 4 - Using both hands, starting at the bottom corners slowly pull the paper off of the plate. Step 5 - Hang with clips or lay face up to dry. Optional - once the print has dried, continue to embellish with other mediums.

 Mixed media Mono-print created by embellishing the mono-print with collage resources and black graphite lines.
Detail of print above.  Try Grafix Impress Monoprint Plates, available online  or in local craft and hobby stores.